Touch of velvet

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Gordon C. Snelling
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Touch of velvet

Post by Gordon C. Snelling »

These velvet ants, are surprisingly both the same species, Dasymutilla foxii, the tan one was a attention hog and just would not let me get a good shot of them side by side so I had to settle for this as my best image of the two. This wpsecies was only known from the vicinity of the Colorado River until I collected them in the Mojave desert this year.


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Post by Carl_Constantine »

nice image. I never knew such ants existed. Do you think the color differential is male/female like it is with other animals?
Carl B. Constantine

Gordon C. Snelling
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Post by Gordon C. Snelling »

These are both females. These are actually wasps, not ants. The males have wings and fly. These wasps are parasitic on other solitary bees and wasps.

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Post by beetleman »

We have small velvet ants up here in the NorthEast. I have seen some very big ones in Florida. A wide range in color on these two. Is this a controlled shot, like in a jar or petri dish Gorden?
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
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Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

We have velvet ants here in North Carolina too but they are about and inch maybe less in size and are a reddish orange with black stripes. Mean looking things I might add. I leave them alone. :lol: Interesting shot Gordon, it does look as though they are in a jar or a dish of some kind. :D

Gordon C. Snelling
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Post by Gordon C. Snelling »

Actually you are quite correct they are in a container. They just would not hold still in the open. My apologies for not including that info.

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

Velvet ants always seem to be a pain to photograph. They just keep moving! You'd think that if they were confident enough of their sting to have a bright red color, they'd also be confident enough to sit still, but no....

From what I've read, the white color is an attempt to mimic creosote seeds. I photographed what I think is a different species of the same genus in Joshua Tree National Park a year or two ago. ... velvet+ant
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."

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Post by paul »

They are really interesting looking creatures, never seen anything like that. Thanks for all the info, too.
paul h

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Post by salden »

They sure are cute (wasp or ant), they seem to have personality that is for sure.
Sue Alden

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Post by twebster »

Hi ya' Gordon, :D

Here in Arizona we call velvet ants, "cow killers". I have first-hand knowledge as to how these wasps got that name. I was stung by a red/black female one time and it felt like someone was driving a railroad spike through my hand :!: :shock: Cows must have fallen dead out of sheer fright :!: (OK, not really. :wink: ) These "ants" pack a mean stinger :!:

Best regards, :D
Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

The worst day photographing dragonflies is better than the best day working! :)

Gordon C. Snelling
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Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:13 pm
Location: California

Post by Gordon C. Snelling »

They do indeed have a wicked sting. I have never been nailed by one of the larger diurnal species. But got a good sting from a small nocturnal species.I remembered it for a while. Az. has some beautiful Velvet ants though. Mike B. I agree that is D. glorliosa, it's always a pretty thing.

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