I remember these Mutillids from my student days in Florida. The red color is meant as a warning. It is a female Velvet Ant (a wingless wasp with a really vicious sting) - males are winged, colored differently, and cannot sting. Trust me - you do not want to find out the hard way how badly they can sting - it is commonly known as a "cow killer" ("nuff said). :shock: It really doesn't kill, but its sting is said to be the most painful of any North American insect, so it just feels like it could!
Thanks, somewhere in the deep recesses of my aging mind I remember reding about these. I do not remember seeing one live before.