Velvet ant

From Academic Kids

Mutillidae
Female velvet ant

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Suborder:Apocrita
Superfamily:Vespoidea
Family:Mutillidae

Mutillidae or velvet ants, also known as cow killers, are not actually ants but a type of wasp. They get their name from the hair that grows on their back. The hair ranges from red and black to completely white. Their shell is very tough, providing protection against wasp and bee stings. The males have wings, but the females are completely wingless.

It is said (wrongly) that their venom is powerful enough to kill a cow, hence the nickname "cow killers."

The earliest-known velvet ants are believed to be specimens from the Dominican Republic preserved in amber for some 25 to 40 million years.

Template:Invertebrate-stub

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