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The Mutillidae are a family of more than 3,000 species of wasps (despite the names) whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants. Their common name velvet ant refers to their dense pile of hair which most often is bright scarlet or orange, but may also be black, white, silver, or gold. Their bright colours serve as aposematic signals. They are known for their extremely painful stings, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant. Unlike a real ant, they do not have drones, workers, and queens. However, velvet ants do exhibit haplodiploid sex determination similar to other members of Vespoidea.