Reproduction It is commonly mistaken for a member of the true ant family, as the female is wingless. Unlike the females, males have dark, translucent wings and do not possess a sting. This fuzzy hair is a unique feature that these velvet ants possess, and their size varies from ⅛-inch to ⅞-inch. [3] They are quick-moving and often take a defensive posture when threatened. [4] Its defenses include a thickened exoskeleton, the ability to run fast and evasively, warning coloration, stridulatory warning sounds, a chemical secretion, and venom. Females are slightly larger than males. The largest velvet ant species, cowkillers are 15-25 mm (0.6-1 in) long. Both sexes make a squeaking noise (stridulation) to warn potential predators (another form of aposematism in females, and automimicry in males). They have the bright red color which is a signal of being venomous. It can be recognized by its black and orange-red striped coloring. [4][1][2] Males fly low over grass in search of mates. The stinger is at least 3/4 of an inch long! Dasymutilla occidentalis. [2][3], Commonly mistaken for an ant, because of its appearance and its common name, it is a parasitoid wasp species in which the females are wingless, as is true for all females of Mutillidae. The eastern velvet ant is the largest of the velvet ant species in the eastern United States, attaining an approximate length of 0.75 in (1.9 cm). The males are larger wither dark brown wings and … I found him after the family dog alerted me. Cow Killer Ant. They can size from 1/4 inches to 1 inch in length. Size. [5], The velvet ant has multiple defensive strategies, but is best known for its extremely painful sting, earning it the nickname of "cow killer". [5], Last edited on 12 September 2020, at 18:22, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dasymutilla_occidentalis&oldid=978068295, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 September 2020, at 18:22. Cow Killer Ant is not actually an Ant, it’s actually a wingless wasp. The species ranges from Connecticut to Missouri in the north and Florida to Texas in the south. Females: The female is wingless, hairy, and colored red and black. Adults display aposematic coloration, consisting of black overall coloring with an orange-red pattern on the dorsal surface of the thorax and abdomen. What Do They Look Like? Cow Killer Ant Facts. Females are capable of an extremely painful sting, hence the name "cow killer". Description: The female cow killer ant is a large, hairy, wingless wasp that resembles a worker ant. Dr. Parada explains the threats posed by stinging insects and discuss symptoms and treatment of stings. This was one mean insect! Diet. Region. Their Sting is awarded 3+ rating in Fredrick Pain Index. The eastern velvet ant is the largest of the velvet ant species in the eastern United States, attaining an approximate length of 0.75 in (1.9 cm). These velvet ants have a small gap in between their abdomen and thorax which gives it a slightly different look from the traditional ant family. The species ranges from Connecticut to Missouri in the north and Florida to Texas in the south. The egg quickly hatches into a white, legless grub, which consumes the host and goes through several larval stages prior to pupation. Found throughout U.S. Velvet Ant Photos. Characteristics: One of the most observable differences between ants and wasps is that ants have elbowed or L-shaped antennae, while wasp antennae are normally straight or C-shaped. This is a picture of a headless Cow Killer Ant. They seek out the brood cells of Eastern cicada killers and other large ground-nesting members of Crabronidae, where they deposit an egg onto a host larva. Adult cowkiller ants primarily feed on nectar but they will also eat larvae and adult insects, such as flies, beetles, bees, and other wasps. The body kept trying to sting a long time after the head was removed. Cow Killer Ant Facts, Identification, & Control Scientific Name. Photo of a female velvet (cow killer) ant on a log Photo of a female velvet (cow killer) ant crawling on dirt Videos View All Videos. Appearance. Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 25mm (0.59in to 0.98in) Colors: red; black Descriptors: hairy, ant, stinging, wasp, harmful Its sometimes called a Velvet Ant. Yes. Dasymutilla occidentalis (red velvet ant, eastern velvet ant, cow ant or cow killer[1][2][3]), is a species of parasitoid wasp native to the eastern United States. Size. They can be up to 3/4" long with a black body covered with coarse and bright reddish-orange hair on the head, thorax and abdomen. They are covered in dense, velvet-like hair. 1/8 – 7/8” (3-23 mm) Antennae.

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