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A black wedge-shaped beetle about 15 mm long with white specks on elytra and dramatically flabellate antennae. Legs were a deep brown with black colouring at the femoral and tibial joint. A slightly humped scutellum and head were also black.
Spotted on a young eucalyptus tree in a small reserve.
There are only six species of Rhipiceridae in Australia and all belong to the genus Rhipicera.
Rhipiphorid beetle larvae could be endo- and ectoparasites on larvae of hymenopterans, beetles and cockroaches. Although larvae of R.femorata has never been spotted it is thought that they may be parasites on larvae of Cicada.
In some species that have been studied, numerous eggs are laid in flower buds and their hatching corresponds with the blooming of flowers. The 1st instar larvae (Triungulin) attach themselves to the visiting pollinating insect and are taken to the insect's nest where they lie in wait for the host egg to hatch. The parasitic larvae attack the host larvae where they grow without moulting. They feed on the larvae (endoparasitic) and develop within the host larvae finally exiting it to become ectoparasitic, feeding on the host from the outside. They pupate in the host's nest and emerge as adults.
Superfamily: DASCILLOIDEA (br) Family :RHIPICERIDAE