Pronunciation:  [Mew·TILL·i·dee]

Common Name:   Velvet ants;  Cow killers

Description:   Velvet ants are predatory wasps (they are not closely related to ants).   In most species, the females are wingless.   They can be recognized by their hairy bodies – often brightly colored with red, yellow, or orange on black.   Females have a painful sting which has earned them the common name “cow killers”.   Larvae mostly parasitize ground-nesting bees and wasps.


Spot ID Key Characters:

  1. Body moderately to densely covered with hair
  2. Often brightly colored with red, orange, or yellow
  3. Ring of hair present on each abdominal segment

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Order:  Hymenoptera