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Old Jul 2, 2011, 4:41 PM   #1
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Default Strange Insect - Velvet Ant

Though called a Velvet Ant this insect, covered with bright orange hair, is actually a wingless wasp. Some places call them cow killers, due to the pain caused by their sting. The male is smaller, has wings, and can not sting. I think (Not sure) the winged insect in the photos is the male. The female is about 3/4 inch long (1.9 cm).

Anybody sure the small winged insect is the male please let me know.

Ed

K5, Vivitar Series 1 80-180mm Flat Field Macro
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 7:53 AM   #2
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That is one wild looking insect!Nice captures!
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 12:48 PM   #3
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Anybody sure the small winged insect is the male please let me know.
Ed
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Nice pictures, Ed.

Males are supposed to be larger than females, so it I am sure it is not, although it could be the male of another species. If this is "the" Cow Killer, Dasymutilla occidentalis, (there are 150 species in this Genus), then this is what the male looks like:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/201270
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 2:10 PM   #4
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Nice pictures, Ed.

Males are supposed to be larger than females, so it I am sure it is not, although it could be the male of another species. If this is "the" Cow Killer, Dasymutilla occidentalis, (there are 150 species in this Genus), then this is what the male looks like:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/201270
I sent photos to this same site, they confirmed the smaller insect as the Male and have it posted on their site now.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/538606

Ed
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 6:38 PM   #5
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I sent photos to this same site, they confirmed the smaller insect as the Male and have it posted on their site now.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/538606

Ed
Check that again - that identification has been challenged, and another photo has been posted, showing a much larger, hairer male next to a female. It has been moved "for expert identification." Insect identification is often challenging - time will tell.
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Last edited by penolta; Jul 3, 2011 at 6:42 PM.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 4:07 PM   #6
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Check that again - that identification has been challenged, and another photo has been posted, showing a much larger, hairer male next to a female. It has been moved "for expert identification." Insect identification is often challenging - time will tell.
This is the latest response:
Interesting
The big one is Dasymutilla occidentalis. The smaller one looks like Dasymutilla vesta or D. archboldi

http://bugguide.net/node/view/538607#953240

Ed
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