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Cow Killer Ant
Dasymutilla occidentalis

Featured Image Credit: “Cow Killer – Dasymutilla occidentalis, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, Florida” by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

These are actually a type of wasp, and not an ant. The females of the species do have a pretty painful sting, but it’s not something that is going to kill you, or a cow.

Alternate Names: Red Velvet Ant, Eastern Velvet Ant, Cow Ant, Cow Killer
Size: up to .75" long
Family: Mutillidae
Habitat: Meadows, old fields, edges of forests
Identification: Black overall coloring with cherry red velvet-like hair that covers the thorax and abdomen.
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