Dasymutilla gloriosa

| 11 Comments

Photograph by Pete Moulton.

Photography contest, Honorable Mention.

Moulton.Dasymutilla_gloriosa_female.jpg

Dasymutilla_gloriosa – female thistledown velvet ant busily digging up the burrows of sand wasps along the bank of the Rio Salado north of Mesa. Mr. Moulton adds, “This isn’t an ant at all, but rather a wingless Mutillid wasp; and for all its cute fuzzy appearance, it’s reputed to be a ferocious stinger.”

11 Comments

The Eastern velvet ants we have here in SC are beautiful, but I wouldn’t want to find one crawling up my leg. They may not actually kill cows (or even belong to the ant clade), but they did get the name “cow killer ant” for a reason. -Wheels

It looks like a spider as well.

That’s gorgeous.

ksplawn said:

The Eastern velvet ants we have here in SC are beautiful, but I wouldn’t want to find one crawling up my leg. They may not actually kill cows (or even belong to the ant clade), but they did get the name “cow killer ant” for a reason. -Wheels

The species in California are sometimes called “mule killers” for that same reason.

Beautiful indeed, and I agree, its wingless nature makes it looking like a spider…

A

http://viewsontheworld.blog.com/

This isn’t an ant at all, but rather a wingless Mutillid wasp

But then, ants apparently evolved from wasps. So while that no more makes it an ant than evolution of birds from dinosaurs makes a velociraptor into a bird, it does lessen the impact of saying that it’s not an ant, it’s a wasp. In one sense, an ant and this critter are both wasps.

Glen Davidson

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

This isn’t an ant at all, but rather a wingless Mutillid wasp

But then, ants apparently evolved from wasps. So while that no more makes it an ant than evolution of birds from dinosaurs makes a velociraptor into a bird, it does lessen the impact of saying that it’s not an ant, it’s a wasp. In one sense, an ant and this critter are both wasps.

Glen Davidson

Picky, picky, Glen! But you’re right. I probably could’ve worded that a bit more elegantly, eh?

Wasp or ant, it’s still a bug!!111!!!one!!!eleven!!!

Henry J said:

Wasp or ant, it’s still a bug!!111!!!one!!!eleven!!!

No, velvet ants belong to Hymenoptera, not Heteroptera. {/pedantry}

apokryltaros said:

Henry J said:

Wasp or ant, it’s still a bug!!111!!!one!!!eleven!!!

No, velvet ants belong to Hymenoptera, not Heteroptera. {/pedantry}

In that case:

Wasp or ant, it’s still an insect!!111!!!one!!!eleven!!!

Henry

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on October 24, 2011 12:00 PM.

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