Subject:  Is it a bug? A spider? What is it?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California hills
Date: 10/17/2017
Time: 03:56 PM EDT
My Cub Scouts found this guy on the trail in the hills of Southern California on a warm October early evening. Any idea what he is?
How you want your letter signed:  Dawn

Velvet Ant

Dear Dawn,
Your Scouts encountered an insect commonly called a Velvet Ant, actually a flightless female Wasp that packs quite a painful sting.  There are many species of Velvet Ants in the world, and Southern California might have the greatest diversity of these members of the family Mutillidae.  We will attempt a species identification for you.

Update:  BugGuideBased on this image, this might be Dasymutilla californica.

Location: southern California

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