A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Dasymutilla occidentalis (Linnaeus)
These insects are wasps, not ants. Females are wingless and covered with dense hair, superficially resembling ants. The red velvet-ant is the largest velvet-ant species, reaching about 3/4 inch in length. They are black overall with patches of dense orange-red hair on the thorax and abdomen. Males are similar but have wings and can not sting.
Mouthparts are for chewing. Lone females can be found crawling on the ground, particularly in open sandy areas. Adults are most common during the warm summer months. Larvae are solitary, external parasites of developing bumble bees.
The cow killer ant. It gets it nickname because it would sometimes sting a cow's tongue. The tongue would get so swollen that the cow in some cases would suffocate to death.
Spotted on May 25, 2013
Submitted on May 25, 2013
and 8 other people favorited this spotting