Velvet Ant
Odontophotopsis venusta


velvet ant
When I first spotted this I thought it was just a wasp but then I thought it might be a male Velvet Ant and,
if so, I'd never seen one like it on Antelope Island.  Males have wings, females don't.  Males can't sting,
females can and will if you bug them and it's a nasty sting, I understand.  © Carol Davis, 9-26-2010. 


orange wasp
It never sat very long in one place and was very difficult to follow around.  I found a gazillion velvet ants, male
and female, on this day.  I also saw lots of jumping spiders.  © Carol Davis, 9-26-2010. 


velvet ant
It got suspicious of me chasing it and left after a minute or so.  I never saw it again. I was told
by Bugguide.net that this is a nocturnal species and is not usually seen during the day. It was
around 10:00 a.m. when I saw it. 
I couldn't find anything about what they eat but velvet ants
 usually prey on other solitary wasps or bees  (in the larval stage).   The adults feed on nectar
and this one is dining on a sunflower plant.   © Carol Davis, 9-26-2010. 


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