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Wasp Nest Beetle (Metoecus paradoxus)

Wasp nest beetle of the wedge-shaped beetle (Ripiphoridae) family is found in most parts of the United Kingdom though not in abundance in Scotland and Britain. They seem to be the common wasp’s parasitoid, with the larva mostly found in the wasp’s nest, hence the name.

Wasp Nest Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Ripiphoridae
  • Genus: Metoecus
  • Scientific name: Metoecus paradoxus

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 10 mm (0.39 inches)

Color: They have a dark brownish head and body with orange elytra.

Other Characteristic Features: They have narrowly pointed elytra and feathery antennae.

Metoecus paradoxus

Larva

In their first instar, the larva clings on to the V. vulgaris species to be taken to its nest. On reaching there, it parasitizes upon the latter. It spends the remaining part of its life there until it becomes an adult.

Pupa

The pupal stage takes place within the wasp’s nest, and the span between the larval and adult stage is approximately one month.

Egg

The eggs laid in autumn in the decayed woods mostly hatches during spring or summer.

Quick Facts

Lifespan6 – 12 days
DistributionMost parts of the United Kingdom
HabitatWasp nests that could be underground, in gardens, or even on the roof
Common PredatorsBirds
Seasons active fromLate July – early October
Diet  of larvae and adultsLarva: Mostly wasps
Adult: Does not feed
Wasp Nest Beetle Image

Did You Know

  • Their pointed elytra and feathery antennae give them a unique, exceptional look.
Wasp Nest Beetle Picture

Image Source: animal.photos, warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, farm66.static.flickr.com

Wasp nest beetle of the wedge-shaped beetle (Ripiphoridae) family is found in most parts of the United Kingdom though not in abundance in Scotland and Britain. They seem to be the common wasp’s parasitoid, with the larva mostly found in the wasp’s nest, hence the name.

Wasp Nest Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 10 mm (0.39 inches)

Color: They have a dark brownish head and body with orange elytra.

Other Characteristic Features: They have narrowly pointed elytra and feathery antennae.

Metoecus paradoxus

Larva

In their first instar, the larva clings on to the V. vulgaris species to be taken to its nest. On reaching there, it parasitizes upon the latter. It spends the remaining part of its life there until it becomes an adult.

Pupa

The pupal stage takes place within the wasp’s nest, and the span between the larval and adult stage is approximately one month.

Egg

The eggs laid in autumn in the decayed woods mostly hatches during spring or summer.

Quick Facts

Lifespan6 – 12 days
DistributionMost parts of the United Kingdom
HabitatWasp nests that could be underground, in gardens, or even on the roof
Common PredatorsBirds
Seasons active fromLate July – early October
Diet  of larvae and adultsLarva: Mostly wasps
Adult: Does not feed
Wasp Nest Beetle Image

Did You Know

  • Their pointed elytra and feathery antennae give them a unique, exceptional look.
Wasp Nest Beetle Picture

Image Source: animal.photos, warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, farm66.static.flickr.com

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