Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Cow Killer" Velvet Ant


In False Cape State Park, Virginia, this female velvet ant (actually a type of flightless wasp) was seen frantically scurrying about the sandy ground in search of bumble bee burrows. This species, Dasymutilla occidentalis, is called the"cow killer" because her sting is very potent and painful. She deposits her eggs in the brood chamber of the bee which when it hatches then feeds on the bee larva.

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