Friday, September 12, 2008

I had never seen one around here before.
A Velvet ant was crossing my driveway yesterday afternoon.

Actually a Velvet Ant isn’t an ant at all. It’s a wasp. It is cover in a bright red and black hairy fur that looks just like velvet. The are a unique species of wasp not often seen in the Upstate. Mutillidae or velvet ants, are from a large family of wasps which resemble giant red ants and are known for their extremely painful sting. And like all other wasps, they can sting multiple times.

Strange critter.

If you see one give it a wide berth. You’ll both be happy.


¡Ludicrious! said...

I've never even heard of those!

Ben Milstead said...

Hey Charles. I end up killing about 10 of those a year around my house. I've never seen two together though. My wife's Grandfather said they are commonly referred to as the "Cow Killer Ant". Reason? One sting from it and you would swear it could kill a cow. VERY painful.

Danny said...

Is that your hand in the second picture!?!?!? I saw one of those at the lake (desert) about a month ago. If I had known it was a wasp I would have freaked out. I have an unreasonable fear of any bees (and most insects that buzz) because of several (4) unfortunate childhood experiences. Wow.

Danny Nelson

Jungle Mom said...

Beautiful! We have a bi, ant in the Amazon called a '24' which doesn't kill you but makes you wish you were dead for 24 hours. It is just black but packs quite a sting as I, unfortunately, found out by experience.
Thanks for the pic! I am so amazed at the handi- work of God!

Charles said...

Yes Ben I had seen them in Georgia and especially down state, but never around here. However I never knew they were wasps.