Photos / Sounds

Observer

froggy143

Date

November 11, 2022 06:40 PM MST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

wynand_uys

Date

November 13, 2022 01:13 PM SAST

Description

6mm

Photos / Sounds

Observer

jugbayjs

Date

September 24, 2022 01:46 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Spider Wasps, Velvet Ants, and Allies (Superfamily Pompiloidea)

Observer

vanwest

Date

October 2022

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Photos / Sounds

What

Winged and Once-winged Insects (Subclass Pterygota)

Observer

ghost68

Date

July 1, 2022 09:53 AM EDT

Place

Ocala (Google, OSM)

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tusabez

Date

June 21, 2022 11:30 AM CST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

birdingtexan

Date

June 10, 2022 09:44 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Klug's Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla klugii)

Observer

graceml

Date

June 3, 2022 08:27 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Date

May 22, 2022 12:44 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla aureola)

Observer

linneav

Date

May 22, 2022 08:45 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cholmesphoto

Date

May 21, 2022 09:48 AM MDT

Photos / Sounds

Date

May 9, 2022 09:13 PM -05

Photos / Sounds

Observer

leonardohe

Date

May 16, 2022 09:56 AM MDT

Photos / Sounds

Date

April 29, 2022

Photos / Sounds

Date

April 29, 2022

Description

Male?

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cindychrisler

Date

April 22, 2022 01:01 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

emmajonas

Date

March 29, 2022 10:57 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

idlegrraphics

Date

July 27, 2021 05:32 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gego

Date

August 28, 2015 01:45 PM CEST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

alice_abela

Date

May 25, 2014 04:28 PM PDT

Description

Figueroa Mountain, Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara County, California

Photos / Sounds

What

Velvet Ants (Family Mutillidae)

Observer

prajwal_ullal

Date

July 10, 2021 08:28 AM IST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

alyssamagliaro

Date

April 2021

Photos / Sounds

Observer

pieterprins

Date

September 15, 2017 11:33 AM CEST

Description

In open forest. Moving quite rapidly and therefore hard to photograph.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

laurabaird

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gigilaidler

Date

December 2, 2021 12:26 PM SAST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

louisenicholas

Date

January 4, 2022 08:42 PM +11

Description

Approx 1cm long, poking head into sand, lots of other marks in sand around it. On sandy track between Wyperfeld NP and private bush block, Patchewollock, NW Victoria.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

alejandro_velez

Date

January 1, 2020 05:33 PM -05

Photos / Sounds

Observer

josuergg

Date

December 27, 2021 05:55 PM CST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sandromeda

Date

December 7, 2021 04:14 PM -05

Photos / Sounds

Observer

josuergg

Date

December 3, 2021 10:51 AM CST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

anniebeez

Date

July 1, 2019 04:46 PM UTC

Photos / Sounds

Observer

matthew_connors

Date

May 6, 2018 05:56 PM AEST

Description

Mmmmmm velvet ants, mmm mmm mmmmmmm velvet ants. They're cool, but I distinctly remember nobody knowing anything much about them. I wonder if I can spend three days sorting them out. Let's hope it doesn't take that long -_-

So uhh I guess we start at the top. Family Mutillidae. I'm just gonna go by what ALA says because it seems decent. There are 9 genera in two subfamilies: Mutillinae: Odontomutilla (1 sp.), Trogaspidia (2 spp.); Sphaeropthalminae: Aglaotilla (14 spp.), Australotilla (5 spp.), Bothriomutilla (1 sp.), Ephutomorpha (155 spp.), Eurymutilla (6 spp.), Odontomyrme (6 spp.), Ponerotilla (4 spp.). Well that's... Mmmm. Okay then. 'Not ideal' is an understatement.

I've seen Ephutomorpha before and it's fairly similar to this so I guess it is at least Sphaeropthalminae. Thorax is a bit of a different shape though so with luck I don't have something within that mess of species.

Alright, well let's see if I can rule out the three mutillines. This is Trogaspidia cooki, at least according to iNat: I see no reason to doubt it really and it seems correct. The other iNat Trogaspidia observations from around the world are all very similar, and given that they have no indication of any strong thoracic spines I am happy to also rule out T. tricarinata. The iNat observations of Odontomutilla are also very similar in form, and seem to differ from Trogaspida mostly in abdominal pattern. So I'm happy ruling Odontomutilla out as well.

Okay, so we have something in Sphaeropthalminae then. Bothriomutilla rugicollis is a very distinctive, common species with large spines on the thorax:

Ponerotilla then - I can find no information with a cursory search except for this paper which mentions that females have (only?) been collected from underground, in the nests of ants. I guess I should probably check them, shouldn't I. Good news! All four are described in this paper, all four are known only from WA, and all four look quite different to this.

Next up is Australotilla. There are some iNat sightings and they seem to have a rather different thorax to mine so I don't think they will be what we are after. But still, I should check. This paper will help quite a lot. It has the original description of the genus, and importantly all of the currently-assigned species are included within it in that paper. The description seems to indicate that the thorax does not contain the large spines that my one has. The generic description states that all species have the "abdomen with 6 bright-colored spots in single longitudinal line, sometimes weak or lacking on 3rd and 4th tergites". The diagram of A. modesta included confirms these details:

and they certainly match the iNat sightings as well. So I am once again happy to rule them out.

Next up, Eurymutilla. Once more there are iNat sightings including two different species, and they look rather different to mine. Still I will look. E. turneri is described in the paper linked above, and the holotype is here: Quite different really. The description of E. unilineata is here; the abdominal pattern is different and it has a brown/orange thorax. The description of E. perelegans is here, currently a synonym of E. argenteolineata. It is rather similar to the previous two; once more it has an orange/red thorax. The original description of E. argenteolineata is here but ugh it's in French. It seems to agree but if anyone wants to translate, go ahead! The description of E. exigua is here. I have only translated part of it but it seems only to be for the male, alas. Either way it seems that most of the Eurymutilla species are very similar to each other, so I will rule for now pending the result that all of the other species are similar too. Ephutomorpha morosa var. albocalcarata, described briefly here, is a synonym of E. cordata. The abdomen has narrow white borders on the first and second segments, so it is out. And finally E. mutilla is described and illustrated here:

So that is Eurymutilla out then.

Odontomyrme next. There are many iNat sightings and they all seem very small. Our paper from before contains the original description of the genus along with a key to all six species. Woohoo! O. gilberti has abdominal tergite 2 rusty red with a preapical black band, and then the remaining segments rusty red. O. difficilis has abominal tergites 1-5 rusty red. O. abjecta has tergite 1 rusty red (at least partially), and then tergites 3 and 4 black with rusty red apical bands. O. tobiasi also has tergite 1 at least partially rusty red, but has tergites 3 and 4 yellowish brown. O. addena has tergite 2 with a "large semicircular, apicomedial rusty red cuticular spot". And finally O. sessilis has tergite 2 with a "less conspicuous, transverse apicomedial rusty red cuticular spot". Here is the type of O. tobiasi for reference:

Good to rule out another genus. Heading into dangerous territory now though....

Alright then, Aglaotilla. Astonishingly, the genus actually has a modern treatment! That's probably because it was only described very recently. Thanks the lord for modern taxonomists. Anyway, it's here and it very clearly states that all the species are brightly metallic and strongly punctured. The type, A. submetallescens, is imaged, and it is indeed similar to the iNat sightings of the genus. So Aglaotilla is out.

And now, alas, we reach our big problem. Ephutomorpha is an incredibly huge mess. Many species actually belong to some of the other genera we have already looked at, and I don't doubt that many also represent undescribed genera. It's a bit like Platybrachys isn't it. So I don't really have much hope for getting a definitive ID, but we might still be able to get somewhere. ALA lists 155 described species, and I am not going through them all. But there are plenty of species IDed here on iNat courtesy of the amazing @kevinwilliams, so we can go through and see if anything is close. Right away there is a match - E. ruficornis. All the markings and morphology match. It is a decent distance from the other iNat sightings but that doesn't necessarily mean anything, considering there are only 4 observations. The original description is... short. It essentially says that it is black, the antennae are red, and the abdomen has white hairs. I guess it matches? I'm hesitant to apply the name given that the only proper reference is iNat itself (don't want to be circular), but I can't see anything that would differentiate it from the other sightings here. E. ruficornis s. l. maybe. Perhaps the experts can chime in and tell me how wrong I am :P

Photos / Sounds

Observer

asdf2020

Date

October 26, 2021 05:25 PM MST

Photos / Sounds

Date

September 6, 2021 03:05 PM MDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

davidmt83

Date

September 25, 2021 12:38 PM MDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

kueda

Date

September 10, 2021 06:28 PM PDT

Description

Running around in the road, sandy soils, coastal grassland and chaparral.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tillyhawk

Description

About .5 in long, two together

Photos / Sounds

Observer

bzimmerbirds

Date

April 21, 2020 06:04 PM MDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

mas68ter

Date

August 24, 2021 06:36 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

elrodrugs_

Date

July 20, 2021 06:41 PM MDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Four-spotted Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla quadriguttata)

Observer

stevecollins

Date

August 8, 2021 01:02 PM EDT

Description

I can't find any examples with a black head

Photos / Sounds

Observer

frank-deschandol

Date

July 16, 2021 05:25 PM CEST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

savvaszafeiriou

Date

July 20, 2021 04:45 AM +13

Photos / Sounds

Observer

ralsalas

Date

July 29, 2021 02:38 PM MDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

jiutian

Date

July 2021

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla aureola)

Observer

lexibug

Date

July 11, 2021 06:48 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

francisco255

Date

July 15, 2021 05:26 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

catherine_g

Date

June 22, 2021 02:01 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

jakemccumber

Date

July 8, 2021 01:37 PM EDT

Description

Photo series focused on the male and active mating. Detailed images of female linked below.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

joshklostermann

Date

June 30, 2021 04:12 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

froggy143

Date

June 25, 2021 09:27 PM MST

Description

Pretty small, it was seen wandering near the nest entrance of a Camponotus fragilis colony.

Photos / Sounds

Date

June 29, 2021 11:47 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

morgancantrell

Date

June 25, 2021 01:29 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

catenatus

Date

June 20, 2021 08:31 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

nickrobinson

Date

June 16, 2021 07:51 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

tmurray74

Date

June 15, 2021 01:53 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Four-spotted Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla quadriguttata)

Observer

patriciagthomas

Date

June 2021

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Photos / Sounds

Observer

jcochran706

Date

June 12, 2021 09:10 AM CDT

Description

Timberlake Biological Field Station

Photos / Sounds

Observer

jcochran706

Date

June 12, 2021 12:21 PM CDT

Description

Timberlake Biological Field Station

Photos / Sounds

Observer

keithpetrus

Date

June 1, 2021 12:25 PM UTC

Photos / Sounds

Observer

substanz

Date

October 2019

Photos / Sounds

Observer

threeagoutdoors

Date

June 2, 2021 10:22 AM CDT

Description

I can get more pictures as needed

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sambiology

Date

May 29, 2021 05:37 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

fishkeeper

Date

May 30, 2021 01:23 PM CDT

Description

Fast runner. Do velvet ants come in non-fuzzy format?

Edit: wow, I didn't realize this was something unusual! Here's more info, in case that's useful for anyone.

This little gal was in an area of scrubland, on an exotic game hunting ranch that's been left pretty much entirely un-developed. They just have a few buildings, and some dirt roads. If anyone finds themself in the same area, this was on Ox Ranch, on a route heading towards the cave they give people tours of. She was along the back route, the one that doesn't include driving through the creek. I don't guarantee that the little pin in this observation is in the exact right spot.
The area had a number of scraggly, smallish live oak trees, and fairly minimal ground cover. Small bushes with clean or nearly-clean ground between them. There was a thin creek 20-30 feet away, running through a wide creekbed. I looked at the ground a lot in that area, watching for rattlesnakes, and I didn't see any other velvet ants.
She was a fast wasp! She didn't really take any notice of me that I could tell, and kept about her business, running in a messy zigzagging pattern that seems to be common in velvet ants. She paused now and then to check out the occasional smell, but never for long.

I'm probably going back to the ranch in fall. If I see any more of these, I'll try to take better pictures, and maybe a bit of video.

Additional edit: these appear to be the only photos of this species alive. So, that's really cool. I wish I'd followed her around and tried to get more shots, but I had no idea she was anything rare! I was on my way down to a creekbed, and took a couple of quick snaps of a neat bug along the way.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

ermersonsharbel

Date

May 15, 2021 02:50 PM -04

Description

@kevinwilliams
@michelotto
@pedro_reck
help with identification

Ajuda na identificação

Photos / Sounds

What

Nocturnal Velvet Ants (Tribe Sphaeropthalmini)

Observer

josev_ge

Date

May 16, 2021 02:28 PM -03

Photos / Sounds

Observer

fernandotellez

Date

April 29, 2021 01:28 PM -04

Photos / Sounds

Observer

pufferchung

Date

April 28, 2021 05:24 PM CDT

Description

I found two small holes on the hiking trail, noticed something was hiding inside. I poked it with a small straw, a velvet ant came out. It was really fast and I couldn't get a good picture for ID. I didn’t have any container so I used my speedlite soft box , carefully scooped it up with sand. It finally calmed down so I could take few pictures. I put it back to the small hole afterward.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla aureola)

Observer

alexb0000

Date

March 31, 2021 04:08 PM PDT

Description

One of several velvet ants crossing the trail within a 10-yard radius, and the only ones I saw that day. Evidently there was something very good about this spot.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

fernandotellez

Date

April 29, 2021 02:37 PM -04

Photos / Sounds

What

Flat Wasps (Family Bethylidae)

Observer

cgmayers

Date

April 28, 2021 03:06 PM EDT

Description

Really tiny even for an ant

Photos / Sounds

Observer

froggy143

Date

April 25, 2021 10:45 PM MST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

belindacopland

Date

April 3, 2021

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla aureola)

Observer

khutches

Date

April 15, 2021 06:05 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

jokari

Date

March 10, 2021 02:53 PM CET

Photos / Sounds

Observer

squiresk

Date

February 17, 2021 11:48 AM EST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

zomvite

Date

August 7, 2020 04:18 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

feralmeryl

Date

August 12, 2019 06:02 AM MDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla aureola)

Observer

jimtietz

Date

June 17, 2019 09:59 AM AWST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

alexbinck

Date

September 26, 2016 12:07 PM PDT

Description

Approximate location.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

carlossantana1

Date

December 21, 2020 10:55 AM -03

Photos / Sounds

What

Magnificent Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla magnifica)

Observer

tombentley

Date

November 9, 2019 01:05 PM CST

Photos / Sounds

Date

June 4, 2020 03:57 AM HST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

angelgarcia1

Date

October 15, 2020 10:24 AM MST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

patsimpson2000

Date

October 9, 2020 11:33 AM PDT

Description

Constantly attacked by ants but seemed to get free every time.
Sister observations:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/62661956
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/62661957

Photos / Sounds

Observer

bstephan1986

Date

October 9, 2020 02:43 AM CEST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

vaniamc

Date

October 11, 2020

Photos / Sounds

What

Large Velvet Ant (Mutilla europaea)

Observer

bagous

Date

August 27, 2020 10:53 AM CEST

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Eastern Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla occidentalis)

Observer

oddfitz

Date

August 27, 2020 03:23 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naty19

Date

June 5, 2020 08:18 AM -05

Photos / Sounds

Observer

pacof

Date

July 22, 2020 10:18 AM MDT

Description

Selva Baja Caducifolia en Paco´s Reserva de Flora y Fauna

Photos / Sounds

Observer

saurabhsawant

Date

May 26, 2018 04:05 AM IST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

dingooctavious

Date

August 9, 2020 01:24 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

zeuzmarley

Date

June 26, 2020 01:22 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

skitterbug

Date

July 24, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Observer

skitterbug

Date

July 24, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Observer

marinagoldgisser

Date

July 18, 2020 11:35 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Klug's Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla klugii)

Observer

catenatus

Date

July 18, 2020 03:16 PM CDT

Description

collected by permit

Photos / Sounds

Observer

matiasc

Date

July 17, 2020 05:17 PM ADT

Gracias al apoyo de:

¿Quiere apoyarnos? Pregúntenos cómo escribiendo a snib.guatemala@gmail.com