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Red Velvet 'Ant'

Dasymutilla occidentalis


Velvet ants are wasps with a common name that comes from the appearance of the females, which look like hairy ants. The males have black, translucent wings and look like wasps, although they are elusive and rarely seen. Daysymutilla occidentalis is nicknamed the "cow killer," after its ability to fight ferociously and inflict a severe sting that's said to be able to kill a cow.Velvet Ants have black bodies that are covered with a thick coat of fine hairs in a variety of colors. All the females are wingless and resemble ants.Adults feed on nectar.


Velvet ants live all over the world, mostly in dry, sandy environments.


I spotted the red wasp in a sandy area behind my backyard. After i had already picked it up with my bare hand and taken pictures of it I realized how dangerous it was. I could have died!

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loganrobertson321 10 years ago

thanks! The little bugger wouldnt hold still for a second

Maria dB
Maria dB 10 years ago

nice spotting!

Spotted by

Aquia Harbour, Virginia, USA

Spotted on Aug 18, 2012
Submitted on Aug 18, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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