Metoecus paradoxus (Linnaeus, 1760) (Coleoptera: Ripiphoridae), a new species for the fauna of Israel


  • Oz Rittner The Steinhardt Natural History Museum and Research Center, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978 Israel. E-mail:
  • Raz Dafny Shemurat HaAlonim 22, Kibbutz Merom Golan, 12436, Israel. E-mail:


Biodiversity, Coleoptera, Ripiphoridae, beetles, wedge-shaped beetles, parasitoids, Israel, Middle East, new records


The Ripiphoridae (wedge-shaped beetles) contain approximately 450 species worldwide. Like the Meloidae, many wedge-shaped beetles are hypermetamorphic parasitoids. The majority of them attack wasps and bees whilst others attack cockroaches and beetles (Ptinidae and Cerambycidae) (Batelka et al. 2018). The first record of a ripiphorid species from Israel was published by Sahlberg (1912), who reported that Ptilophorus dufourii (Latreille, 1817) was collected at Dayr Aban (a village East of Bet Shemesh, Judean Hills) by Unio Saalas. Pic (1927) mentioned Pterydrias debilis Reitter, 1895, and Bodenheimer (1937) records two species for Israel, Macrosiagon bimaculata (Fabricius, 1787) and Macrosiagon ferruginea (Fabricius, 1781). Argaman and Mendel (1988) reported two Ripiphoridae species as new for Israel, Ripidius vaulogeri Chobaut, 1893 and Evaniocera dufouri Latreille, 1817, but the latter had been already published by Sahlberg (1912). Chikatunov et al. (2006) added Macrosiagon praeusta (Gebler, 1829) and Ripiphorus subdipterus Bosc, 1792 to the list of Israeli wedge-shaped beetles. Metoecus paradoxus (Linnaeus, 1760), commonly referred to as ‘the wasp nest beetle’, is hereby recorded in Israel for the first time. On the 23rd of June 2018 a large nest of Vespula germanica (Fabricius, 1793) was removed by the second author from the vicinity of Merom Golan (a kibbutz at the Golan Heights in the northern part of Israel; 33°08'N 35°46'E). The ruined nest was then exposed to pesticides. Near the nest a female of M. paradoxus was observed. Soon afterward a search inside the ruined nest yielded dead and still alive adults and pupae of M. paradoxus. In total, 33 specimens of M. paradoxus were found: nine pupae and seven newly hatched adults (five females and two males) were found inside closed cells, and 16 adults (14 females and three males) were found freely in the nest. A male and three females were found alive. The living females were observed and photographed while laying eggs on different parts of the nest. A pair of adults is currently deposited at the collection of the first author, housed at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University.


Cite as: Rittner, O. & Dafny, R. 2018. Metoecus paradoxus (Linnaeus, 1760) (Coleoptera: Ripiphoridae), a new species for the fauna of Israel. Israel Journal of Entomology 48 (1): 79–83.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1342522 9166DE1

Male of Metoecus paradoxus is looking at you.






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