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Species Dasymutilla gloriosa - Thistledown Velvet Ant

Thistledown Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla gloriosa Thistledown Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla gloriosa - male dasymutilla gloriosa - Dasymutilla gloriosa Dasymutilla gloriosa? - Dasymutilla gloriosa - female Very fast ground hunter (insect?),  moves in jerky curves, stops momentarily, continues. - Dasymutilla gloriosa Dasymutilla - Dasymutilla gloriosa - female Thistledown Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla gloriosa - male Thistledown Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla gloriosa - 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
Species gloriosa (Thistledown Velvet Ant)
Other Common Names
Grey Velvet Ant
13-16 mm
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.
sw. US (TX-NV-CA) south into Mexico; common in TX(1)
Deserts or near-deserts
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.