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Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Genus Dasymutilla

Cow Killer - Dasymutilla occidentalis - female Dasymutilla - female Yellow Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla bioculata - female Insect - Dasymutilla velvet ant - Dasymutilla - female Velvet ant - Dasymutilla - female W Oregon Dasymutilla - Dasymutilla - female Dasymutilla - female
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)
Subfamily Sphaeropthalminae
Tribe Dasymutillini
Genus Dasymutilla
Explanation of Names
Dasymutilla Ashmead, 1899
from the Latin dasy-, after the Ancient Greek δασύς, ('hairy') + Mutilla (referring to velvet ant genera)
from the nominate genus Mutilla Linnaeus, 1758, derived from the Latin mutilā, ('mutilate')
98 spp. in our area(1)
5-25 mm
This genus includes the infamous D. occidentalis and D. klugii, which are known for their very large size (nearly 1 inch) and painful sting. D. klugii specifically ranks a 3 out of 4 on the Schmidt sting pain index and is the only species of velvet ant formally given this rank. However, members of this genus are highly variable in sting intensity. In contrast, the petite D. thetis (~5 mm) only ranks a 1. Medium-sized species (less than a half inch) such as D. gloriosa rank at a 2. Most species are not formally ranked but notably comprise primarily medium-sized species.(2)