Currently viewing the category: "Velvet Ants"
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Subject: Red and black bug
Location: Southside Virginia
July 26, 2014 1:39 pm
What kind of a bug looks like a giant ant that is red and black and fuzzy. Lives in Southside Virginia?
Signature: Gayle

Cowkiller

Cowkiller

Dear Gayle,
This Cowkiller is a Velvet Ant, a type of flightless female wasp reported to have an extremely painful sting.

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Subject: Velvet ant In Central Spain
Location: Ocaña, Toledo
July 10, 2014 3:15 am
Hi, I found a female velvet ant yesterday just south of Madrid. Later on I saw what looked like a winged male. I am unfamiliar with Mutillidae of Spain and have failed to find any information on the species these may be.
I have sent a photo of each, but the camera I used was somewhat poor. Another photo I found online, that seems to be of an identical animal is here: http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7049/6863722301_1a4c21453a.jpg
I appreciate that it is pretty much impossible to get a definitive species level ID without the actual animal, but any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Signature: Bec

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Bec,
Thanks for sending your Velvet Ant image.  We found a very similar looking Velvet Ant on FlickR that is identified as
Sigilla dorsata and then we found an image on Invertebrados Insectarium Virtual to support that identification.  Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps reported to have a very painful sting, and nonstinging male Velvet Ants have wings.  Your winged insect is in the order Hymenoptera, which included Ants, Bees and Wasps, but we cannot confirm that it is a male Velvet Ant.

Unknown Hymenopteran

Unknown Hymenopteran

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Subject: Ant
Location: north central Texas
July 1, 2014 7:55 am
Can you identify this ant? It has a stinger that looks smaller than a human hair and extends about half its body length. the sting is extremely painful, i have been stung twice. the body is very hard almost like concrete. whats a good and safe way to get rid of these?
Signature: Thank You Tammy Daniel

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Hi Tammy,
Though it resembles an ant and it is called a Velvet Ant, this insect is actually a flightless female wasp in the family Mutillidae and you are correct that the sting is reported to be quite painful.  We cannot say for certain which species this is, but it resembles the members of the genus
Timulla pictured on BugGuide.

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

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Subject: Kern River fuzzy bug
Location: Kernville, CA (campsite near kern river)
May 31, 2014 6:30 pm
We saw this little guy in the sand at our campsite at the Kern River today (June 1st, 2014).
We only counted 6 legs at the time.
Signature: Kristen

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Hi Kristen,
This is a Velvet Ant in the genus
Dasymutilla, and we believe it might be Dasymutilla sackenii based on the images posted to BugGuide.  Velvet Ants should be handled with extreme caution since they are actually flightless female wasps reputed to have a very painful sting.

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Subject: Unkown bug in Central Oregon
Location: Prineville, OR
May 25, 2014 8:06 pm
Hi,
I found this bug crawling on the ground while hiking in Central Oregon and don’t know what it is. If you can find out and let me know I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
Signature: Merrie Gregor

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Hi Merrie,
Despite the blurriness of your image, we have no doubt that this is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp in the family Mutillidae.
  We don’t know if Dasymutilla satanas, which is reported on BugGuide from California and Nevada, ranges as far north as Oregon, but it looks like a pretty good match, as does Dasymutilla aureola, also pictured on BugGuide.

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Subject: looks like huge ant with yellow and black colors
Location: Israel
May 6, 2014 1:43 am
Hi,
Found this bug (image attached), looks like ant, big ant, with
black back and yellow dots, bee colors.
called it bant :)
Did you see something like this before?
Signature: Best Regards, Tarik Haddad

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Hi again Tarik,
Sorry about the very short reply yesterday.  We were late.  This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp, and North American relatives are reported to have a very painful sting, so we imagine the same is true of the Israeli species.  Velvet Ants often have bright warning coloration, known as aposematic coloration, to warn people and predators to leave them alone.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination