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A beautiful little Velvet Ant female, 8 mm in length. These love the cement stairs that lead to the waterfalls in the Chiflón Waterfall Park. The stairs are wide and full of leaf litter and these run about among the leaves close to the back wall. It usually takes only 15 minutes or so to find one. This is an especially pretty species with metallic rust colored hair on black with longer silver hairs. The large mandibles and relatively short ovipositor are visible in the last picture. Family Mutillidae.
Stone stairs along the river. Chiflón Waterfall Park, Chiapas, Mexico.
These wasps are solitary and parasitic on other species of bees and wasps. Many thanks to Kevin Williams of California Agriculture for the identification. He writes "This is a relatively uncommon species, but variable and widespread, ranging Oaxaca and Yucatan South to Costa Rica. It is related to Dasymutilla dilucida and D. scaevola, but D. ocyrae has the body entirely black, even though the color and extent of the setae vary a lot. I don't know of any other online pictures of this species, except the two on inaturalist, one which is yours." The other photos on inaturalist are fuzzy and of a whitish color, other than that the body is black (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations...).
Spotted on May 30, 2019
Submitted on Jun 9, 2019