What is it?
I was playing with my toddler in the living room, and this little guy stung me on the hand. I haven’t been able to identify him, and wondered if you could help? We live in Middle Tennessee. I didn’t see it at first, but felt a sudden burning sensation in my hand. A short investigation revealed this critter under a sofa pillow. It’s behavior reminds me of a wasp though there are no wings. It actually moves much like a velvet ant we saw a few weeks ago, but isn’t as large nor as brilliantly colored. The abdomen is yellow and black striped with a red head and thorax. I apologize for the graininess of the pictures! Thanks!
This is most definitely a Velvet Ant which explains the Wasp-like behavior. We cannot determine the species, or even the genus, since the quality of the image is not real sharp. Our first inclination is that it might be in the genus Timulla, but it even resembles some members of the genus Dasymutilla.
Update: (04/02/2008) ID for insects
Hey, my name is Will, this is a list of the ID’s for the velvet ant page. image 11. is definitely Timulla. hope this helps a bit.
Update: Velvet Ant
(07/21/2008) Timulla grotei
Finally! After you helped me identify the species of velvet ant that stung me one summer despite my poor photo, it has been my mission in life to get a better quality photo of Timulla grotei if you should want it. After many failed attempts at phographing this fast-moving wasp, I finally got a lady who was relatively still for my camera. She didn’t smile and insisted on waving those antennae, but here she is… and no stings this time.
While we are impressed with your determination, and honored that you felt it was important enough to provide What’s That Bug? with a sharper image, we think you have set too low a goal for your life’s mission. Now that this milestone has been accomplished, we are confident you will accomplish truly great things. Thanks again for providing us with a clear image of Timulla grotei from Tennessee.