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Velvet ant, (Cow killer)

Dasymutilla klugii, (Gray 1832)


It is a large Velvet ant that is actually a female wingless wasp that crawls on the ground like a ant. It has 6 black legs and thorax with a black fuzzy head. The abdomen is light orange and yellow with long hairs. The name "Cow Killer" comes from the tale that a sting from this insect is so painful that it can kill a cow.


LBJ grasslands, Texas, Alvord, Piney woods campground woodland crawling under pine needles.


It was a female with a 1 1/2 inch length and a extremely fast speed. the distribution seems to be the Southern United states and the South West. The orange color is an aposematic coloration telling not to eat it because it can be poisonous or sting.

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Ornithoptera80 a month ago

Thanks,I would agree, the name was theory made long ago.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a month ago

Wow, that's an amazing ant. I had to look up its "cow killing" abilities. I think we are the real cow killers!

Spotted by

Alvord, Texas, United States

Spotted on Sep 18, 2020
Submitted on Oct 15, 2020

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