Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
wowarizona.com
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Red Velvet Ant [Dasymutilla magnifica]:
2 types of velvet ant, the Red and Thistledown. They are not an ant, but, a wasp, capable of inflicting a painful sting! Not as much is known about the Red, but it is suspected that it's "lifestyle" is similar to the Thistledown. It is parasitic by design, seeking out sand wasp dens, (that's why it was moving in and out under the edge of rocks). Sand wasps have a stock of flies for feeding their larvae. Velvet ants drop their eggs in the nest, which eat the larder of flies AND the sand wasp larvae. Adults are thought to feed on nectar. Males are kind of a deep red and winged, females are burnt orange and wingless.

*Note: This critter WAS NOT photographed on the grounds, (although there are numerous individuals living here at the place).

Photos taken on Friday's evening ride with SunDog and Zach. Photo with Sidi shoe is for perspective puposes.
 

Attachments

·
wowarizona.com
Joined
·
863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
GRrider said:
let me rephrase-
wasps here depend on a queen and a hive.
so is this a new queen heading out on her own or did a couple partake in too much nectar?
No hive, no queen! Key word is nest. After laying the larvae in a sand wasps' nest, (no hive, here, either), she moves on. Larvae never know momma, no family memories…

Males are winged, theory being, cover more "ground" looking for Ms. Right. They mate and he moves on. Not a lot of love.

We have paper wasps and others that make hives, however, this species does not. We have a lot of bees that are not hive builders, either. Carpenter bee is one example. Monogamous relationship, builds nest in hollowed out stalks of soaptree yucca and sotol.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top