Velvet Ant

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Velvet ants “aka- cow killers” are very colorful, red and fuzzy. They are rather large in size! They aren’t actually ants but a wasp.The males have small wings that does not allow them to fly around and hunt. The females do not have wings which is what makes them look so much like an ant. The reason thy are referred to as “cow killers” is because their sting is said to be strong enough to do just that, kill a cow! However, this is just a myth, the sting just hurts really bad! Their sting can leave you in excruciating pain for about 30 minutes! A sting from a velvet ant is one of the most intense and painful out there. Their sting does not do any permanent damage nor is it life threatening.

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These ants have been known to live alone as well as feed on ground dwelling bees and wasps. They have also been seen carrying grasshoppers, beetles and spiders into their home. This actually helps lower some of the population of nasty swarms of stingers. They will burrow into their nest and lay their eggs and eat the host larvae when it hatches, as well as any food the host delivers for the young. If you see a velvet ant, there is most likely an underground wasp or bee nest close by. The adults become more active in late summer and you will continue to start seeing more towards the end of August.

Velvet-Ants-Sting-Male-Blue-White-Eastern-and-their-Habitat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

https://featuredcreature.com/fuzzy-doesnt-mean-friendly-red-velvet/http://www.shadygrovetrainingcenter.com/Wildlife/ants_in_florida_photo_gallery.htm

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