Currently viewing the category: "Velvet Ants"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fuzzy white bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Henderson, NV
Date: 10/17/2017
Time: 04:12 PM EDT
Found what looks like a white fuzzy bee on the ground, I couldn’t tell if it had wings.
How you want your letter signed:  Dani

Velvet Ant

Dear Dani,
This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp in the family Mutillidae.  The closest visual match we could locate on BugGuide is this image of
Dasymutilla thetis.  You should not attempt to handle any Velvet Ants you encounter.  The sting is reported to be quite painful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Velvet Ant
Geographic location of the bug:  San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Riverside, CA
Date: 09/18/2017
Time: 01:20 PM EDT
Found this furry guy (actually a gal as she is wingless) crawling along the ground while I was out taking bird photos this past weekend. Thankfully, I was alerted to her presence before she had a chance to crawl up my leg! After a circle around my chair leg, she moved on. Thanks for helping me identify her and many other species!
How you want your letter signed:  Suzanne

Velvet Ant

Dear Suzanne,
The only Velvet Ant in the genus
Dasymutilla with a velvety black body and a red abdomen reported from California on BugGuide is Dasymutilla magnifica.  Your images are gorgeous.

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large fuzzy ant
Location: Nevada
August 11, 2017 2:11 am
Hello! I found this lil’ guy tonight. I was watching TV when I found them crawling on my arm. I’ve never seen something like this before; what are they? And are they dangerous ? ( brown, 2 white stripes)
Signature: – thank you so much!

Velvet Ant

Commonly called a Velvet Ant, your insect is actually a flightless female wasp in the family Mutilidae.  The closest match we could locate on BugGuide is identified as Dasymutilla vestita, but curiously, it looks like none of the other representatives of the species posted to BugGuide.  Velvet Ants should be handled with extreme caution.  They are reported to have a very painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What bug is this
Location: Houma Louisiana
August 5, 2017 7:16 pm
We have no clue what kind of bug this is would like to know if possible because it bit my cousin we live in south Louisiana and it’s summer time here any info would be helpful thank you
Signature: Linda

velvet ant stings

I know what a velvet ant is because I use to live in Mississippi and had them bad there it looks nothing like that   And there’s no velvet on it anywhere

Velvet Ant

Hi again Linda,
This is a Velvet Ant in the family Mutillidae
.  The most commonly encountered Velvet Ant in the eastern U.S. is the Cowkiller, Dasymutilla occidentalis, and that species is indeed velvety.  There is much diversity in the genus, especially in the western states, where you find the Thistledown Velvet Ant which doesn’t look much like the Cowkiller.  Velvet Ants are actually flightless female wasps and they are reported to have a very painful sting.  Your individual resembles this unidentified Velvet Ant on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Re: What kind of bug is this?
Location: Redlands, Ca
July 8, 2017 9:44 pm
Hello,
I live in Redlands, Ca. This afternoon I found a insect that resembles a tarantula. I took a few photos then walked away because it seemed extremely scared of me (which is understandable).
If you can identify this insect and let me know what it is I would appreciate it.
Signature: Jennifer

Velvet Ant

Dear Jennifer,
This is a flightless female wasp in the genus
Dasymutilla, the Velvet Ants.  We are not certain of the species, but it might be Dasymutilla sackenii based on this BugGuide image.  Velvet Ants are reported to have a very painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination