Velvet Ants, Cow Killers (Family: Mutillidae)

by Jeffrey S. PippenBack to Jeff’s Miscellaneous Invertebrates PageJeff’s Nature Pages

These insects are actually wingless wasps, not ants, and are in the order Hymenoptera. There are over 400 species in North America, and many are very difficult to identify to the species level. They are generally brightly colored, very active runners, and can deliver a very painful sting. Do not handle!


Red Velvet Ant, Cow Killer (Dasymutilla occidentalis) Red Velvet Ant, Cow Killer (Dasymutilla occidentalis)
Orange Co., NC
16 May 2006 
Red Velvet Ant, Cow Killer (Dasymutilla occidentalis) Red Velvet Ant, Cow Killer (Dasymutilla occidentalis)
Orange Co., NC
16 May 2006 

Unidentified small velvet ant
Duke Forest, Durham Co., NC
16 Aug 2009

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