Velvet Ant   (three photos)
Sphaeropthalma marpesia

female velvet ant
According to this is a female Sphaeropthalma marpesia that is a nocturnal velvet ant. I was
lucky enough to find her and one or two others on this day on Antelope Island. © Carol Davis, 10-1-2010

male and female velvet ant
The dark wasp-looking insect next to her in this photo is a male velvet ant but a different species.  It is Dasymutilla vesta
and is a day-time flyer.  He was very curious about her and kept checking her out.
© Carol Davis, 10-1-2010

Female velvet ants do not fly but they can do something else the male can't - sting!  After touching her
all over for about 2 minutes, the male finally gave up and went his own merry way.
  © Carol Davis, 10-1-2010

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