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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Photo#41807
velvet ant - Pseudomethoca propinqua

velvet ant - Pseudomethoca propinqua
Kodachrome Basin State Park, Kane County, Utah, USA
September 16, 2005

Images of this individual: tag all
velvet ant - Pseudomethoca propinqua velvet ant - Pseudomethoca propinqua

Moved
Moved from Pseudomethoca.

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deleted duplicate comment

Moved
Moved from Pseudomethoca propinqua. The page I created for this one is still available but until we get an answer on the identifying characteristics, probably best to keep this at the genus level.

Moved
Moved from Pseudomethoca.

Pseudomethoca propinqua
I am pretty sure that this is Pseudomethoca propinqua. This is a pretty widely distibuted and variable species, but one of the only species that is found in Utah with this coloration pattern.

 
I don't know anything about Velvet Ants
but in the course of making a new page for the species I found that Urban Entomology says the dorsum of the thorax of P. propinqua is black, whereas this one is golden brown (unless the term dorsum does not refer to the entire upper surface of the thorax). Is there that much variation, and if so, what characteristics shown here distinguish this specimen as P. propinqua?

 
Pseudomethoca propinqua
The defining characteristics of this species have to do mostly with thocracic shape and sculpturing on various parts of the body. It is quite possible that this could be a different species, maybe P. paludata. But there are very few records of P. paludata from Utah. Pseudomethoca propinqua is one of the most widespread and diverse species in the western United States. Of the specimens in our insect museum, the thorax coloration ranges from entirely black with orange hair, to black laterally and orange dorsally, to entirely orange. At this point, I would say I am about 90% confident that this is P. propinqua, but it is probably best to keep it at just the genus level.

 
Pseudomethoca propinqua
Thanks Kevin!

Joyce,
great shots of both. They are beautiful!

 
thanks Lynette
:)