Male Cow-Killer Ant


Male Red Velvet Ant

redvelvethMy photo for the ‘2015 WP Weekly Photo Challenge – Vivid’ is a female cow-killer or red velvet ant. In the post I mentioned that they’re actually wasps. The female is a wingless wasp and has a painful sting.
The male looks similar to the female only with black wings and the males doesn’t sting.
The male in the photo is the first one that I’ve had the opportunity to photograph. He’s a smidge smaller than the female and quite fast with his wings.

*You can read more about red velvet ants at Orkin’s website:

2015 WP Weekly Photo Challenge – Vivid

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

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


Wishing you all fun with the WP photo challenge!z00m