Male velvet ant?
I love spotting the occasional red velvet ant on my weekly Soberanes trail hike (about 10 mi. south of Carmel, CA), and recently saw one for the first time with wings (but couldn’t get my camera out before it disappeared). I’ve since learned the winged ones are males. The attached photo was taken at the Elkhorn Slough Nature Preserve (near Moss Landing, CA) on the afternoon of Oct. 28, 2007. This time I had time to get some shots. He was moving fast, and this was the only halfway decent one of the 8 or so I took.
This is indeed a male Velvet Ant, but we are not certain what species. Perhaps it is Dasymutilla coccineohirta.
Update: (04/02/2008) ID for insects
Hey, my name is Will, this is a list of the ID’s for the velvet ant page. image 5. Dasymutilla aureola. hope this helps a bit.