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Species Dasymutilla gloriosa - Thistledown Velvet Ant

Thistledown Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla gloriosa - female Thistledown Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla gloriosa dasymutilla gloriosa - Dasymutilla gloriosa Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla gloriosa? - Dasymutilla gloriosa Dasymutilla gloriosa? - Dasymutilla gloriosa - female Dasymutilla - Dasymutilla gloriosa - female Dasymutilla - Dasymutilla gloriosa - female Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla gloriosa
Classification
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
Species gloriosa (Thistledown Velvet Ant)
Other Common Names
Grey Velvet Ant
Size
13-16 mm
Identification
Body black, but covered, in wingless female, by long white hair. Female resembles tuft of down or creosote seed (Larrea tridentata), prevalent in its habitat.
Range
sw. US (TX-NV-CA) south into Mexico; common in TX(1)
Habitat
Deserts or near-deserts
Food
Males (and females?) may take nectar at flowers.
Life Cycle
Female lays eggs in burrows of sand-wasps, such as Bembix. The larvae feed on larvae of the wasp and the food provided by the adult wasps. Pupation occurs in larval chambers of host(2)(1).
See Also
D. sackenii has yellowish hairs, found on West Coast(3)
Works Cited
1.A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects
Bastiaan M. Drees, John A. Jackman. 1998. Gulf Publishing.
2.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
3.Simon & Schuster's Guide to Insects
Dr. Ross H. Arnett, Dr. Richard L. Jacques. 1981. Fireside.