Black insect with fuzzy redish orange abdomen
Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 5:30 PM
Found in Peoria, Arizona in November. A solid looking 1 1/4 inch long and maybe a 1/2 inch wide insect, deep black with a vibrant redish-orange fuzzy abdomen. No wings & very busy walking around looking for something. If you were going to draw this critter, you would use a sharpie due to its solid features.
Peoria, AZ (out in the desert)
This is a Velvet Ant, one of a colorful group of wasps in the family Mutillidae. Male Velvet Ants have wings, but females are flightless and resemble colorful hairy ants. Only the female is capable of stinging, and the sting of several species is quite painful. We believe, based on images posted to BugGuide that your Velvet Ant is Dasymutilla magnifica, but the photo is so blurry, it is impossible to be certain.