Velvet Ants Mating - Timulla ornatipennis
Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, North Carolina, USA
June 17, 2004
This really confused me. Velvet Ants are not ants. Finally, I understand how this is categorized after reading this from my ant ID contact...Telling wasps from winged ants is the same as telling velvet ants from true ants. Velvet ants ARE wasps. Wasps have a constricted waist but not nodes. Some wasps may have a second constriction, for example potter wasps, but never form a broad node like ants. The node or "pedicle" of ants can be oval or flattend, sometimes with an edge like an axe head. A few ants have the pedicle inclined forward and very low, but these are small species. Many ants have a two-segmented pedicle. And as far as I know, no wasps have true elbowed antennae.