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

Subject: wasp?
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
July 6, 2017 2:06 pm
I saw a few of these wasps that look like fuzzy pepsis wasps to me. Spotted in Scottsdale, AZ, daytime, temperature in the 90s.
Signature: stacey v.

Male Velvet Ant

Dear Stacey,
This is a winged, male Velvet Ant in the genus
Dasymutilla.  Female Velvet Ants are flightless wasps and they have very painful stings while males are harmless.  We found a matching image on BugGuide, but it is only identified to the genus level.

Male Velvet Ant

oh my gosh, how cool!! I have never seen the males. thank you so much!!
-stacey

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird bug
Location: Wyoming
January 20, 2017 9:01 pm
I found this weird bug in my house and can’t figure out what it is.
Signature: Amber

Velvet Ant

Dear Amber,
Though your insect is a member of a group commonly called Velvet Ants, it is actually a flightless female wasp in the family Mutillidae.  Velvet Ants are not aggressive but they should be handled with caution as they are reported to deliver a very painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this??
Location: Fillmore, California
November 25, 2016 4:55 pm
Can you tell me what kind of bug this is I found crawling in my backyard?
Signature: Kristianne

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Kristianne,
This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp in the genus
Dasymutilla.  Velvet Ants should be handled with extreme caution as they are reported to have a very painful sting.  Based on images posted to BugGuide, we believe your Velvet Ant might be Dasymutilla sackenii.

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big red ant?
Location: Central Florida
October 29, 2016 9:52 am
Found this ant crawling around on my patio in central Florida, late October but still plenty warm. Never seen such a big ant here before and would like to know if they are an issue.
Signature: William

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear William,
This Velvet Ant, which is actually a flightless female wasp that can deliver a very painful sting if carelessly handled, appears to be
Dasymutilla archboldi which is pictured on BugGuide and found in Florida.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: The Red & Black Bug
Location: Virginia
August 9, 2016 12:07 pm
What kind kind of bug is this? They are everywhere..
Signature: Lacee Barnett

Cowkiller

Cowkiller

Dear Lacee,
This Velvet Ant,
Dasymutilla occidentalis, is commonly called a Cowkiller.  It is actually a flightless female wasp that is reported to have a very painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ant ? Wasp?
Location: Rancho Santa Margarita ca
May 27, 2016 8:00 pm
I found this today when I was doing some planting in my backyard. I’ve never seen anything like this but we get odd creatures all the time. I’m glad I found your site so I can get help identifying some of these that I find. The white contrast with the black legs was so striking! Not knowing what it is I kept my dog, who found it, away. Should I be concerned about more showing up?
Signature: Curious critter finder

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Curious critter finder,
This is both an Ant and a Wasp.  Your female, flightless Wasp in the family Mutillidae is commonly called a Velvet Ant, so she is an Ant by name and a Wasp by classification, though for even more clarification, both Wasps and Ants are classified together in the Order Hymenoptera.  Velvet Ants are not aggressive, but they are very active and purposeful, and they will defend themselves with a very painful sting should you or your dog bother one with an exposed body part.  We are going to make your sighting the Bug of the Month for June 2016.  We have had the Cow Killer, a common Velvet Ant from the eastern portion of North America featured in the past as the Bug of the Month in August 2012, but this time we want to feature the diverse Velvet Ants found in the southwest.  Many Velvet Ants sport aposomatic or warning coloration, often red or orange and black, to advertise their painful stings.  This particular individual, which may be
Dasymutilla sackeni, is well represented on BugGuide with individuals from California.

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination