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Photo#404044
ID for Velvet Ant with white head? - Ephuta argenticeps - female

ID for Velvet Ant with white head? - Ephuta argenticeps - Female
Webb Canyon, ~2000 ft. elevation, Los Angeles County, California, USA
May 24, 2010
Size: ~4 mm
Another one of my rescues from the pool... this is by far the most awesome looking mutillid I've found around my place yet! I'd love to get a positive ID to species if possible. Thanks!

[I have several more photos, but I'm not sure they really show any more helpful details. Also, not sure if it is useful in making an ID, but this one ran with its abdomen pointed up off of the ground -- see this photo.]

Images of this individual: tag all
ID for Velvet Ant with white head? - Ephuta argenticeps - female ID for Velvet Ant with white head? - Ephuta argenticeps - female ID for Velvet Ant with white head? - Ephuta argenticeps - female

Moved
Moved from Velvet Ants.

Ephuta sp.
I second all of the comments; great photos and find!

Most likely Ephuta argenticeps, the only species of Ephuta in CA as far as I know.

 
As always, thanks so much for the ID, George!
A couple days ago, I fished another female out of the pool (at least I hope it wasn't the same unlucky specimen!).

Coolest velvet ant I've ever seen!
Possibly Pseudomethoca bequaerti?

 
I know! It was totally awesome to rescue this one from the pool!
I'm not sure I ever would have seen it just running around on the ground -- they're tiny and very fast!
You know, I was looking at P. bequaerti too and the pattern just didn't seem quite the same... But I was guessing that it was something in Pseudomethoca, so I'm glad to know someone else thinks that too. :-)

 
Once again, your kind nature pays off with a wonderful find.
Quite an interesting wasp, Harsi.

 
Thanks, Ron...
It does feel a bit like a reward for services rendered when I happen to rescue something really cool. But, have no fear, I try never to be prejudicial in my duties and I rescue them all -- the countless winged termites when they hatch en masse, the ubiquitous honey bees and even the hapless springtails which naturally gravitate to the "big blue watery trap" as if it were a hospitable puddle.

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