Male Velvet Ant  (three photos)
Timulla grotei

Timulla grotei
The color of this wasp is what made me jump out of the car for a photograph. The orange stood
out like an beacon in the rabbitbrush on Antelope Island.  © Carol Davis, 7-8-2012

orange and black velvet ant
After I took the first shot, this wasp (yes wasp, not ant) flew to another part of the bush and I
noticed his strange positioning. I figured he had to be either mating or ovipositing but since
only male velvet ants have wings, I was leaning towards there being a female somewhere
in this picture. I only got off four shots and three of them were terrible because the wasp
kept getting deeper in the rabbitbrush and further from my camera. George Waldren on
Bugguide identified this wasp for me. He said the males are rarely observed in the wild so
 I feel pretty lucky to have stumbled upon this one. 
© Carol Davis, 7-8-2012

male and female Timulla grotei
When he finally took off, he looked like he was actually carrying the female with him.
In this crappy
photo you can see the black head of the male and just above it the orange head of the female. I did find
 some females of this species last year (which I haven't posted yet). 
© Carol Davis, 7-8-2012

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