Male "Thistledown Velvet Ant"
Dasymutilla gloriosa

from the wasp family Mutillidae

dasymutilla gloriosa
Gloriosa is a beautiful name for this glorious male "Velvet Ant" that is actually a  wasp. 
The female, which you see most often in photographs, is covered in long white hairs. This one

was on Antelope Island but I have yet to find a female of the species.  © Carol Davis, 6-20-2013

male velvet ant
Female Velvet Ants are wingless but the males retain their wings. Eggs are laid in the nests of
sand wasps and when they hatch, they eat the sand wasp larvae and their food.  Velvet Ants, who are
in the family Mutillidae, have a nasty sting if so it's best just to watch instead of trying to pick
them up.  © Carol Davis 6-30-2013

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