Currently viewing the category: "Velvet Ants"
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Subject: Big red looking ant.
Location: Kingsport, Tennessee, USA
April 10, 2015 2:04 pm
I fould a red/scarlet ant looking insect on my porch. It has black and white stripes on the bottom of it. It’s about the size of a fingernail. It’s spring time. I have never seen anything like this insect before. I don’t know if it’s an ant or not. I would really appreciate it if you could answer my question. What is it? Thank you.
Signature: Ashley

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Ashley,
This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp that is reported to have an extremely painful sting.  Based on this BugGuide image, it might be
Dasymutilla scaevola.

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Subject: Black Velvet Ant and ?
Location: Oldbury Western Australia
January 31, 2015 5:49 am
Hi again,
I could write to you just about every day asking about one bug or another, but I don’t like to BUG you too much! LOL… sorry… anyhow…
I’m pretty certain second pic of a wingless wasp is a Black Velvet Ant (seems like a dumb name when it’s not an ant), although I don’t know the exact species name.
I was mainly wondering, given the colour resemblance, if the first winged wasp is the male of the same species? They were both photographed on my property just south of Perth in Australia a day apart. If I am guessing wrong please correct me. Thanks. With appreciation,
Signature: Jill Wozhere

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Jill,
We believe your identification of a female, flightless Velvet Ant is correct, and your individual resembles the example from the genus
 Bothriomutilla that is posted on the Brisbane Insect website.  We do not believe the winged wasp is a male of the species, but we cannot provide an identification at this time.  Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps, and Ants and Wasps are actually members of the same order and the common name Velvet Ant refers to the resemblance and flightlessness of the female.

Wasp

Wasp

Thank you Daniel for your reply and the interesting information. Personally I still think they shouldn’t call it an ant if it isn’t actually an ant, but I won’t make a federal case out of it.  If you find out the species of the other wasp, please let me know.
Best regards,
Jill

Hi Daniel,
Further to the unidentified wasp in one of the previous pic I sent… I’m guessing now that it is a female spider wasp from the family Pompilidae.
I figure it’s a female, because I also found I had a pic *yes I took it and yes you’re welcome to have it, of mating wasps and with it being at the bottom, it just stands to reason it’s the female. (male has red abdomen and female has larger eye) Pic attached.
What do you think?

Mating Wasps may be Spider Wasps

Mating Wasps may be Spider Wasps

Hi again Jill,
We agree that the mating wasps look like the same species as the single wasp image you submitted, and we also agree that they might be Spider Wasps.  We do have a favor to request regarding future submissions.  Please limit your submissions to one species per submission form and please use a new submission form for each submission.  I really complicates our ability to post and archive submissions when multiple species occur in one email, and adding additional images to an existing email chain further complicates the posting process.
  We will create a new posting for the Flower Wasp.

 

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Subject: Spider? Ant?
Location: San Jose del Cabo, BCS Mexico
December 14, 2014 6:26 pm
We are in Los Cabos Mexico. Have seen two of these on our patio today. What are they?
Signature: Cheryl C.

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Cheryl C.,
This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp in the genus
Dasymutilla.  You should try not to handle Velvet Ants, or handle with extreme caution as the sting is reported to be extremely painful.  Only female Velvet Ants are flightless, and only female Velvet Ants sting.

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Cowkiller

Cow Killer

Subject: Cowkiller
Location: south Louisiana
October 10, 2014 8:15 pm
What’s up Bug man! I caught a red velvet ant/wasp in my back yard while I was mowing and I put it in a container. What can I feed it?
Signature: Jon Hite

Dear Jon,
Velvet Ants are flightless female wasps, and most adult wasps take nectar or other sweet, sugary liquids as food.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults (males?) take nectar.”  Perhaps honey will suffice.

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Subject: Ant or mite?
Location: Sonoran Desert, Arizona
September 16, 2014 6:01 pm
Is this a Thistledown Velvet Ant? I stopped to take a break and my eye caught this little critter moving rather quickly on the trail. When I bent down to get a closer look, it stopped and put its rear end up at me. I moved to get a view of the front, but everywhere I went, this little guy turned its butt to me. This was the only photo it would let me get! This was on a trail at Granite Mountain in the Rio Verde Foothills area northeast of Scottsdale, in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Signature: Paige

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Paige,
We are confident that this is a Velvet Ant, but we cannot state for certain that it is a Thistledown Velvet Ant.

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Subject: Bug Identification
Location: Suffolk, VA 23432
September 13, 2014 6:11 pm
Can you tell me what this insect is?it looks lake a large black and red ant.
Signature: Thank you! John Lee

Cowkiller

Cow Killer

Dear John Lee,
Though this Cow Killer,
Dasymutilla occidentalis, is in the family with members commonly called Velvet Ants, they are actually flightless female wasps that are reported to have a very painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination