Dasymutilla occidentalis Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
Although it looks like a large ant, this 2.5 cm (1 inch) red and black fuzzy-looking insect is really a wasp. Velvet ants are solitary and usually seen moving quickly along the ground. You will find them in sandy areas, in fields and one the edges of woodlands. Velvet ants get their common name, ‘Cow Killer’ from their painful sting; folklore says the pain is so severe it could kill a cow.
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