This type of ant is commonly known as a velvet ant. They belong to Mutillidae family which is a family of wasps. Hence these insects are wasps rather than ants. Mutillidae found worldwide and there are almost 5000 species of this family. But mostly they are found in sandy desert areas. Above 400 species are found in Mexico, United States, Canada and Northern and west American countries. In Dominican Republic the earliest known velvet ants were found 25 to 40 millions year ago.
The scientific name of these velvet ants is Dasymutilla occidentalis. As they are covered with dense colorful hair they are called as velvet ants. Female ants may have several colors like silver, black, red, blue, and gold, white. These bristles form a colorful pattern in their body. Like other ants they do not live in social colonies or neither have they had nests. They are found crawling in the sandy desert, roaming around soil and even they can be seen in the garages. Among all the velvet ants red velvet ants are the largest. They can be one inch in length. These are of black colors but they have red and orange color patches in some of the parts of the body. Male velvet ants do not have strings and they have wings too. But female have a strong a poisonous sting and they are painful too. Velvet ants are given the name cow killer ant as the painful strong sting of females even can kill a cow. But velvet ants do not have any division like real ants. Real ants are of three types which are drones, Workers and queens. The body structure of a female velvet ant is rough and tough. These types of structure help it to protect its sting. Their sexual dimorphism is very complex and extreme in nature. But male and female ants are very different in structure as well as in nature. For this reason these two genders are very much difficult to associate into single specie. But while they are mating and as the males are quite larger they can be distinguished.
During the day Female velvet ants are usually seen running. Sometimes their running is active mostly up to two hours before the setting of sun. Some Mutillidae do not avoid lights like velvet ants ant active in a low temperature which usually occur after the setting of sun. The cool condition helps them become active and they are social too. Adults velvets and are mostly found during worm and sunny day. A male identifies a female by their body structure and mates. As the velvet ants do not have their own nest the female then enters into an insect nest. This may be a wasp net or a nest of ground nesting bee. Then the female lays eggs near larvae or pupae. Then the young develops with the larva. After that the immobile host is killed and eaten by the young ants. Then the young velvet ant developing with the pupas and emerges in the next season. The cow killer ants are most commonly found in woody areas and in meadows. They are also very much available in flower gardens and woody forest areas. They are also seen in clover fields. Their availability in these areas is due to the fact that they deposit their eggs near other insect's nest. In North America velvet ants are not as much as popular as some bees. They become popular when you encounter these ants. These velvet ants are not only dangerous for cows and other cattle but also for human being. They are very quick to react and very powerful too.
If any one parts of your body gets connect with the ant the ant will no longer wait to sting you. They are also found in a group like the real ants. So whenever you interact with them you will find more than one to deal with. The stings are painful and do allergic reaction with blood. Sick and weak people are very much affected by the stings and that even cause a death. But most of the attacks are due to the fact that people getting close to them or stepped on them.
The Cow Ant also known as velvet ants are the owners of exceptionally painful stings, strong enough to kill a cow even. This is why the name cow ant applies appropriately to them. They are one of those types of species found among the three thousand species of the mutillidae family. It is only this family of wasp, to which these wingless species called ants belong. These types of ants are very dangerous and stinging as they are strong enough to handle any big animal easily. The cow ants do not ...
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