• Spiders
  • Beetles
  • Bees & Ants
  • Butterflies & Moths
  • Grasshoppers & Crickets
  • Dragonflies & Damselflies
  • True Bugs
  • Insects By State
  • Mutillid Wasp - (Pseudomethocha oculata)

    Mutillid Wasp - (Pseudomethocha oculata)

    The female Mutillid Wasp is a cunning ant-mimic. This solitary wasp can issue one of the most painful insect stings known to humans.

    Picture of Mutillid Wasp
    Staff Writer (1/24/2014): Though they look and act like ants, the solitary wasps known as Velvet Ants are anything but. Wingless females are capable of rendering terribly painful stings, leaving human victims bewildered. Examining the antennae of a Velvet Ant will help distinguish it from a true ant. Ant antennae bend in a sharp 'elbow' while this wasp's antennae do not.

    Adults drink nectar and water. Their larvae, however, are fantastic parasitic predators. The eggs of a Velvet Ant are laid near the eggs of other bees, wasps, or even flies. They hatch and quickly begin to devour the unsuspecting hosts.

    This particular species is not as hairy as typical Velvet Ants (see Red Velvet Ant and Thistle Down Velvet Ant for comparison). They are extremely tiny wasps and look more like real ants than other members of the Mutillidae family.

    ©2005-2017 www.InsectIdentification.org. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from www.InsectIdentification.org is strictly prohibited. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...). Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Email corrections / Comments to InsectIdentification at Gmail dot com.

    Details of the:
    Mutillid Wasp

    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Mutillid Wasp
    Scientific Name: Pseudomethocha oculata
    Other Names: Velvet Ant

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Mutillidae
           Genus: Pseudomethocha
            Species: oculata

    Size (Adult, Length): 3mm to 8mm (0.12in to 0.31in)

    Identifying Colors: red, yellow, black, brown

    Additional Descriptors: stinging, biting, harmful, stinger, ant, bands, hairless

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arizona; California; Florida; Georgia; Louisiana; Mississippi; Texas

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

    BUGFINDER: What Kind of Bug is This...
    BUGFINDER allows for a quick search of the Insect Identification database by selecting primary color, secondary color, number of legs and the territory / state in question. If only one color is present on your insect, select it again as its SECONDARY color. Remember that the more details you can offer, the better your chances of finding a match. As a rule of thumb, six legs are typical for most insects whereas spiders generally have eight legs.
    Primary Color:
    Secondary Color:
    Number of Legs:
    State / Province:
    General Category: