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Red Velvet Ant


About an inch long. Golden body w shiny hair-like covering.


Sandy grassy field in central Florida.


About an inch long. Learned from comments that it's also called a "cowkiller" for its painful sting!

1 Species ID Suggestions

Cowkiller or Red Velvet Ant
Dasymutilla occidentalis Ants In Florida

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QuigCrew 10 years ago

yikes...thanks for the heads up. will keep my distance.

freelancing 10 years ago

Definitely a cowkiller ant. We have them in our yard in Texas. Do NOT touch them with your hands! This is a female flightless wasp that has a sting so painful, it got it's name "cowkiller" because folks said it was strong enough to kill a cow. I've known someone who was stung by one and he concurred that it was incomprehensible pain. You've probably seen them run really really fast - hard to catch and very non-aggressive. I've seen these species have varied stripe and spot variations.

Spotted by

Palm Bay, Florida, USA

Spotted on Oct 29, 2011
Submitted on Oct 31, 2011

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