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Cow Killer - Dasymutilla occidentalis - female

Cow Killer - Dasymutilla occidentalis - Female
Cumberland County, North Carolina, USA
August 25, 2004
Size: 1 inch
This was the best photo I could get as this wasp runs quickly and never stopped to rest. Also, I must admit I was a bit scared of it, since it's rather large in size (about an inch).

I moved to Tennessee from Con
I moved to Tennessee from Connecticut three years ago, the first year I ran across two of these cow killers at first I had trouble killing them, now into the third year I have finally figured out the only way to kill is to step on them and rub your foot along the ground until the body is ground into the ground ,even then I some times have to repeat the action again , in the three years since I have been here I have ran across two each year, now that I know what they I will be keeping a closer Eye on the property to spot them

These things are huge.
Man, i just ran into about 3 of these over in my rocks, so my dad breaks a chunk of the rock off and about ten of these sucks come out. Then he cracks the rock again and hundreds of these thing start pooring out. Glad i didnt get stung

This Bugga Has a Hard Impact
I moved down here to norther Mississippi down by the cotton fields and these little buggas were everywhere. After moving to the city I hadn't seen anymore till this past fri. May 2nd 08. I sat on the wall of landscape timber waiting on the mail lady and through my jeans I felt the worse sting!! Thought to myself well maybe its nothing till I looked down and sure nuff one of those beautiful creatures got me in the side of the bum. Festered like a brown recluse bite and have had 2 shots since to get it to fester n drain. The bite is unreal. It swelled to the size of half a soft ball, the opening where stung grew to the size of a dime.. Several antibiotics later its finally drained and is about the size of a silver dollar now. So yall just be mighty careful, they do pack a punch. I went through a couple days of fever, couldn't walk, the pain felt like it was in the bone. I'd been the 3rd in the drs office with the same bite that day.. so please dont mess with these beautiful wasps. Just keep an eye out where you set too. They are very busy little creatures..go go go and never seem to slow down. The south can put a hurt on someone especially if your not from here like myself and dont know what can and can't hurt you. Please educate yourself. I assure you theres no shortage of these in Mississippi. They are plentiful!!!

to hear of your painful experience. I wonder if you had a "normal" reaction or if you could be allergic? I suppose it could be the normal reaction, hence the name Cow Killer.

I'm SO glad you have this pic
I'm SO glad you have this picture! I live not far from you in Sanford and I've seen them a few times a Raven Rock State Park, about 5 miles west of Lillington. I tried to get a photo once, but the little critter wouldn't stand still! I've only seen them in the dead heat of the summer, so I doubt I'd find them this time of year out there. However, I'm going tomorrow so I'll still keep my eyes peeled!
I just remember thinking, "wow, I've never seen such a large fuzzy oddly colored ant before!" It amazes me to find out that it's a wasp! I'm glad I didn't attempt to touch it either!!

Great photo!

Very Beautiful!
When I lived in Plano, TX (15 years ago), I used to see these females often, but I have a bad feeling their numbers there may be on the decline because of pesticides....I hope I'm wrong! I was always tempted to pet them because they look so soft; I never tried and I'm glad!

I haven't seen them often either
In the five years I've been here this is the only one I've ever seen.

Where I used to find them.....
From what I can remember, the majority of the time where I saw them was on the driveway or anything cement....which I guess kinda makes sense since I wouldn't really notice them if they were in the grass. Too bad I don't still live there or I would try and find another and follow it for awhile! LOL!

Female velvet ant
This is a perfectly respectable shot (on my computer anyway:-) It is, of course, a female Dasymutilla occidentalis. Good idea to avoid getting stung, though they are not aggressive.

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