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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Fall Fund Drive


Genus Dasymutilla

medium velvet ant - Dasymutilla bioculata - female Dasymutilla? - Dasymutilla Black and Red Ant - Dasymutilla occidentalis Velvet Ant sp. Florida - Dasymutilla occidentalis Cow Killer  - Dasymutilla occidentalis - male Dasymutilla quadriguttata - female Dasymutilla - Dasymutilla vestita Tiny Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Pompiloidea (Spider Wasps, Velvet Ants and allies)
Family Mutillidae (Velvet Ants)
Genus Dasymutilla
Other Common Names
Velvet-ant, Cow-killer
Explanation of Names
Dasymutilla Ashmead 1899
'hairy Mutilla' (Mutilla Linnaeus is the nominate genus of the family, from a Latin word meaning 'mutilate')
>140 spp. in our area(1)
13-25 mm
Females can inflict a painful sting.
Print References
some spp. treated in field guides:(2)(3)
CA fauna, in(4)
Mickel, C. E. (1928). Biological and taxonomic investigations on the Mutillid wasps. U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull., No. 143:ix+351 pp., plates 1-5. (Full Text)
Mickel, C. E. (1936). Descriptions and records of Californian Mutillidae. Pan-Pac. Ent ., 12(2): 91-96. (Full Text)
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.California Insects
Jerry A. Powell, Charles L. Hogue. 1989. University of California Press.
3.Insects in Kansas
Glenn A. Salsbury and Stephan C. White. 2000. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture.
4.The California velvet ants of the genus Dasymutilla Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae)
Hurd P.D., Jr. 1951. Bull. Calif. Insect Survey 4: 89-118.