Unknown ant-like insect
July 16, 2010
Okay, out in my yard today in Virginia, I encountered a bug I’ve never seen in my life. It’s mostly shaped like an ant, only massive like the size of a bee or such. It’s a deep, bright red with a couple black stripes across its abdomen and appears to have a somewhat velvety texture (though I didn’t touch it to make sure). It does not possess any wings. Normally, I’d just let it go but I have two small nephews staying with me right now and don’t want any harm to come to them.
Congratulations on being the first person to use our brand new form. We hope our readership likes our new form and that it makes submitting identification requests easier. Your insect is a Velvet Ant known as a Cow Killer, Dasymutilla occidentalis. We hope you heeded the warning colors, because Velvet Ants are actually flightless female wasps that can sting. The common name Cow Killer refers to the sting being so painful it might kill a cow. Though the sting could not kill a cow, it is none the less reported to be quite painful.