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Friday, July 30, 2010

Velvet Ants?

The other day we had our neighbor join us on our walk. She got to walk Gracie, since I won't let anyone else walk me, BOL! Good thing we had our neighbor with us, because Gracie found something on the ground and was very interested.

Thankfully our friend instantly knew it wasn't good for her. It was a Mutillidae, which some folks call a velvet ant, or cow killer ant. Pic to the left is the one we saw, blurry 'cause Mum was trying to keep us all away and get a BB pic too, BOL!

It isn't actually an ant, but a wasp. The males have wings and the females don't. The females are red and black and furry, crawl around on the ground, and they look like they have Elvis velvet painting like baby clothes on, BOL!

They say the name "Cow Killer Ant" was given to the velvet ant because of the reputation of the female's sting. It is said that the sting is so painful that it could kill a cow. They say the sting won't actually kill, but just hurt real bad. Although if you'd have an allergy to them, I suspect there could be repercussions, like when I got a bee sting and my snout blew up to the size of a golf ball.

So it's great that our neighbor knew it could have been very bad for Gracie, and pulled her away real quick! So many new critters to learn about...


  1. Those "ants" sound scary!

    Johann, thanks to your mum for coming over to my blog and wishing Penny well. You've reminded me about all those great blog posts and squidoos you have on canine health. I'll wait until we get our results from the vet on Friday and then I'm going to settle down and re-read all the stuff you've posted in the past about the healthy approach for canine athletes.

  2. I commented on facebook, but repeating here: They sure look pretty, though!


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