What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what’s this bug?
Location: southern california
April 20, 2014 6:25 pm
i’ve seen this bug 3 or 4 times while hiking dirt trails in the san gabriel mountains in southern california, in this month of april it’s a fast mover, approximately one-half inch long, and doesn’t seem to be hostile…seemed more intent on running away from anything put in it’s path. the actual red is very deep but i lightened the picture to help bring out detail…..
Signature: john roush

Red Haired Velvet Ant

Red Haired Velvet Ant

Dear John,
We posted another image of a Red Haired Velvet Ant,
Dasymutilla aureola, earlier today, but the critter was rather small in the digital file, and though we requested a higher resolution image, it was not available.  This makes your submission even more desirable today.  Velvet Ants are actually flightless female wasps.  Do not try to handle a Velvet Ant as you will most likely be surprised by a very painful sting.  We have heard that Velvet Ants are capable of stinging through garden gloves.

Thank you for the information on the Red Haired Velvet Ant!!       Feel free to use the photo i submitted…..    john roush

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: California

2 Responses to Red Haired Velvet Ant

  1. ariana says:

    Hello,
    We saw a white haired velvet ant yesterday while hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, off Stunt Rd. (Red Rock Canyon).
    It was burrowing/digging in the dirt and could not care less whether we were there or not.
    It (she) was beautiful and large. I had never seen an ant like this. Once I looked it up, I was surprised to know it was an ant. She was all alone.

    • bugman says:

      They are called Ants, but they are actually flightless female Wasps. Both ants and wasps are classified together in the order Hymenoptera.

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