Category Archives: Mutillidae

Velvet ants, cow killers. About 5,000 species. Larvae develop as primary external parasites of ground-nesting insects. Females wingless, spending large proportion of time underground; known for their extremely painful sting.

Party on a pin oak

In September 2012 while collecting in western Oklahoma (Weatherford) I came across this interesting scene. It had been exceedingly dry in the area, and because of this few insects were out and about in the small city park that I … Continue reading

Posted in Coleoptera, Diptera, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Mutillidae, Nymphalidae, Sarcophagidae, Scarabaeidae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The gloriously dichromatic Dasymutilla gloriosa

I have a small collection of velvet ants (family Mutillidae) that I’ve accumulated over the years—not through active collection but more as bycatch from my beetle hunting operations. Velvet ants are, of course, not ants at all, but wasps, and … Continue reading

Posted in Hymenoptera, Mutillidae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Maddening mutillid

During my stay in Corrientes, Argentina, I had two distinct biomes to explore—the relatively moist “Selva Paraguayense” to the east in Corrientes Province (a southern adjunct to the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil, and home to the cryptic longhorned beetle … Continue reading

Posted in Hymenoptera, Mutillidae | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Pseudomethoca simillima – a model for Enoclerus ichneumoneus?

Last week, I posted the above photograph of Enoclerus ichneumoneus (orange-banded checkered beetle) and mentioned its possibly mimetic appearance to velvet ants in the family Mutillidae (order Hymenoptera).  By some stroke of serendipity, I encountered a species of Mutillidae the very … Continue reading

Posted in Cleridae, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Mutillidae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Collection Inventory update

The more observant – and taxonomically inclined – among my readers may have noticed the sidebar item entitled, “T. C. MacRae Collection”. The links within that item lead to Google documents detailing the species in those groups of insects that … Continue reading

Posted in Asilidae, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Mutillidae | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments