Dominican amber (20-30 MYO) - extremely rare male wedge-shaped beetle (Rhipiphoridae), body about 3 mm, originally uploaded by leth.damgaard.
Dominican amber - extremely rare male wedge-shaped beetle (Rhipiphoridae).
In my defense, I will just tell that Rhipiphoridae number 2 was already cut when I got the piece - but interesting that this piece has contained two of these extremely rare beetles.
They are one of the most unusual beetle families, in that they are parasitoids - different groups within the family attack different hosts, but most are associated with bees or vespid wasps, while some others are associated with roaches. They often have abbreviated elytra, and branched antennae.
Those that attack bees typically lay their eggs on flowers, where they hatch almost immediately into small planidium larvae that wait for a passing host. They grab onto a bee when it visits the flower, and ride it back to its nest, where they disembark and enter a cell with a host larva. The beetle larva then enters the body of the host larva, where it waits while the larva grows. When the host pupates, the beetle larva migrates to the outside of its body and begins to feed, eventually consuming it. (wikipedia)
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