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Species Dasymutilla occidentalis - Common Eastern Velvet Ant

Dasymutilla occidentalis - female Velvet ant - Dasymutilla occidentalis Cow Killer/ Red Velvet Ant - Dasymutilla occidentalis - female Cow Killer Ant - Dasymutilla occidentalis - female Found this in my backyard earlier today. - Dasymutilla occidentalis Dasymutilla? - Dasymutilla occidentalis Eastern Velvet Ant (a.k.a. Cow Killer, Dasymutillao ccidentalis) - Dasymutilla occidentalis Cow Killer - Dasymutilla occidentalis - 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
Species occidentalis (Common Eastern Velvet Ant)
Other Common Names
Common Eastern Velvet Ant, Eastern Red Velvet Ant, Cow Killer (a misnomer applied solely to this species)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Mutilla (Sphaeropthalma) Comanche [sic] Blake, 1871(1)
Explanation of Names
Dasymutilla occidentalis (Linnaeus 1758)
15-18, 25 (?) mm; the largest and the most frequently noticed eastern Dasymutilla
Females recognized by large size, bold black-and-orange pattern, thorax longer than wide, tip of abdomen has no hair. Hair on dorsal surface may be yellowish, orange, or dull red. Underside is all jet black. Up close, the tips of the middle and hind femora are rounded.
Males have dark brown wings, have different dorsal pattern from female--thorax, head, and only distal half of abdomen have red/orange hairs.
CT-FL west to CO-TX
Meadows, old fields, edges of forests.
Late spring to early fall
Life Cycle
Invades the nest of bumble bees, especially Bombus fraternus. Female finds a host nest, digs down and deposits one egg near brood chamber. Larva enters the host brood chamber, kills host larvae, feeds on them, then pupates in the brood chamber.
Females have a very painful sting
Internet References