Black insect with fuzzy redish orange abdomen
Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 5:30 PM
Found in Peoria, Arizona in November. A solid looking 1 1/4 inch long and maybe a 1/2 inch wide insect, deep black with a vibrant redish-orange fuzzy abdomen. No wings & very busy walking around looking for something. If you were going to draw this critter, you would use a sharpie due to its solid features.
The Nicoloffs
Peoria, AZ (out in the desert)

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Dear Nicoloffs,
This is a Velvet Ant, one of a colorful group of wasps in the family Mutillidae. Male Velvet Ants have wings, but females are flightless and resemble colorful hairy ants. Only the female is capable of stinging, and the sting of several species is quite painful. We believe, based on images posted to
BugGuide that your Velvet Ant is Dasymutilla magnifica, but the photo is so blurry, it is impossible to be certain.

5 Responses to Velvet Ant

  1. Castro says:

    I seen this exact one crawling into my backyard my husband has it in a plastic bottle and took it too work. It is indeed a velvet ant. Scary. Now i have to keep an eye out on my daughter when she is playing outside.
    Moreno Valley, CA

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I can attest to the VERY painful sting, I stepped on the fuzzy kind, magnifica I guess? But I remember it made a strange sound too. I live in Texas and have seen them around Dallas/Fort Worth and Waco as well.

  3. Trevor key says:

    Hes actually pretty funny!

  4. ian says:

    got 1 caught in a cup right now, female i guess (no wings). thanks for helping to ID it.

  5. Anna says:

    Had one here in Calimesa,CA. I have never seen one of these before.

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