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  • Yellow Velvet Ant - (Dasymutilla spp.)

    Yellow Velvet Ant - (Dasymutilla spp.)

    The Yellow Velvet Ant is a stinging wasp in disguise - its colors and bristly hairs offering fair warning.

    Staff Writer (12/18/2015): Despite its name, the Velvet Ant isn't an ant at all! It is a type of wasp. True ants have bent antennae and a twice-constricted waist, unlike velvet ants which retain their wasp-like antennae. They are mainly found in the arid and semi-arid states of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico

    This family of wasp is mostly solitary instead of living in nests and in large numbers. Only males have wings and fly, the ground-laden females can deliver a painful sting and should not be trifled with.

    Yellow Velvet Ant larvae are parasitic. Females lay their fertilized wasp eggs in the nest of other bees or wasps. The Yellow Velvet Ant larvae hatch first and then devour the other species' larvae.

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    Details of the:
    Yellow Velvet Ant

    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Yellow Velvet Ant
    Scientific Name: Dasymutilla spp.

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Mutillidae
           Genus: Dasymutilla
            Species: spp.

    Size (Adult, Length): 6mm to 25mm (0.24in to 0.98in)

    Identifying Colors: yellow; black; white

    Additional Descriptors: hairy, stinging

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Arizona; California; Colorado; Nevada; New Mexico; Texas; Utah; Mexico

    * 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.

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