Despite their name, velvet ants are not ants at all, but are actually wasps. Female velvet ants are very hairy and black in color, sometimes with areas of bright red, orange, yellow or white. Males are less hairy and duller in color, but have wings, unlike females.
The nest: Velvet ants often live in the nests of wasps and ground-nesting bees. In other cases, they build nests in bare or sandy soil.
The threat: Velvet ants are sometimes called “cow killers” because of their very potent sting. However, only female velvet ants have stingers.