2015 WP Weekly Photo Challenge – Vivid

2015
WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge
~Vivid~

velvet-cowkillerThe cow killer ant stands out with it’s vivid color and it’s deadly legend.
I remember when I was a wee child being warned about these ants. Every one that was seen around our tiny country farm was terminated immediately. I was an adult before I learned the truth about the ant.

The cowkiller ant or red velvet ant is actually a wingless female-wasp (species Dasymutilla occidentalis).  The male looks similar to the female only with black wings. The males don’t sting, however the female has a toxic sting. The sting is painful, but not strong enough to actually kill a cow as the old folklore implies.
You can read more about it: here
http://www.orkin.com/ants/cow-killer-ant/

~*~*~*~

Wishing you all fun with the WP photo challenge!z00m

spgrnbgln

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8 thoughts on “2015 WP Weekly Photo Challenge – Vivid

    • Normally, I’d agree with you Nadine, The only good wasp is a dead one! Especially if the wasps put children in danger.
      However the most redeeming 2 qualities of regular wasps are 1) they eat spiders and 2) When the queen leaves the nest in the fall, all the wasps die but her.
      As for the Cow-Killer ant/wasp the Adults feed on nectar. The Female dig into the nests ground bees and wasps, and lay their eggs on the larvae inside the nest. When the eggs hatch, the larvae consume their host…
      So, I reckon it’s all in how you look at it. 🙂

      Like

    • Hi Laura Gabrielle Feasey
      Welcome to my blog. Thanks for the wonderful compliment. You gave me a nice smile.
      I agree, the cow-killer ant does look scary, but if you avoid it’s bite, it’s fairly helpful as a part of natural pest-control.
      Thanks for visiting and leaving me a comment.
      I hope you’ll visit again sometime.
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve never heard of these ants/wasps before, they are certainly vivid and you couldn’t miss them, could you? lol I guess they are here for a reason but I wouldn’t like to get stung by one of the females.
    It’s a great shot by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Barb
      I’m glad I was raised to stay away from these. They are pretty, but I bet their sting would be dreadful.
      I was pleased to find that they serve as a helpful pest control. Cow-Killer ant/wasp adults feed on nectar. The Female dig into the nests ground bees and wasps, and lay their eggs on the larvae inside the nest. When the eggs hatch, the larvae consume their host.
      Hope you have a great week.
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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