Orange, furry stinging “beetle” in Mojave desert, California.
October 1, 2009
I live in Lancaster, California in the high desert. One day while working outdoors I saw a furry orange insect about an inch long. It resembled a large furry ant or wingless bee and ran very quickly. I tried to pick it up using my handkerchief as padding and it stung me right through the cloth. The pain was excruciating but only lasted a few minutes. Subsequent examination showed that the bug had a black stinger perhaps 1/4″ long. It’s been a few months and I do not have pictures. I seem to recall the bug had some black too, but the furry part was bright orange.
The picture attached is NOT the bug in question, I just needed an image in order to ask this question.
Mike from the F.A.A.
We are sorry to hear you have been stung by a Velvet Ant because the sting is reported to be extremely painful. Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps.