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Old 08-03-2006, 05:54 PM
 
336 posts, read 62,985 times
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Any idea what this thing is? It looks like an oversized ant that is bright red and black. I have seen 3 of them since I moved here.

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Old 08-03-2006, 06:12 PM
 
180 posts, read 533,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.S.
Any idea what this thing is? It looks like an oversized ant that is bright red and black. I have seen 3 of them since I moved here.

It's called a Velvet Ant or Cow Killer....
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,660 posts, read 18,324,710 times
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It's actually a Wasp, not an ant. The females are wingless and resemble hairy ants. Found from New York to Florida and Gulf states, west to Texas. Bee and wasp spray or one of the flying insect aerosols will kill it.

http://troyb.com/photo/images/photos/063-08-CowKiller.jpg (broken link)

Last edited by mm34b; 08-03-2006 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Mooresville, NC
1,862 posts, read 3,341,023 times
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So...how big are these things & do they bite/sting?? Why are they called cow killers?? GEESH!!!

Rosie
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:20 AM
 
1,126 posts, read 2,811,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BxRosie
So...how big are these things & do they bite/sting?? Why are they called cow killers?? GEESH!!!

Rosie
No kidding!!! ............
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:48 AM
 
336 posts, read 62,985 times
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The one in the picture was running pretty fast in my apartment parking lot. It was about the size of an average wasp, but had no wings.

Here is some info from wikipedia.

"They are known for their extremely painful sting, the venom of which was jokingly stated to be powerful enough to kill a cow, hence the nickname "cow killers." As with all Hymenoptera, only the females sting, and like all other wasps and bee (except honeybees), they can sting multiple times."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutillidae
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,660 posts, read 18,324,710 times
Reputation: 3547
Quote:
Originally Posted by BxRosie
So...how big are these things & do they bite/sting?? Why are they called cow killers?? GEESH!!!

Rosie
Dasymutilla occidentalis (Eastern U.S.)
Length - 5/8" to 1"

They have a rear stinger.

They get their name from the female's painful sting - so severe that many people claim it could kill a cow, but that is just folklore.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:20 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,232 posts, read 2,649,215 times
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Great. A whole new set of bug issues I will be dealing with once I relocate to NC. Hopefully, you folks don't have scorpions.
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:26 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 5,020,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliBoy
Great. A whole new set of bug issues I will be dealing with once I relocate to NC. Hopefully, you folks don't have scorpions.
Not that I've heard. We do have these (the picture is actually a pretty good representation of their size - they're a weeee bit smaller, but large enough that my cats make a respectful pass around them )

http://www.infobreaks.com/insects/ggs.jpg

They aren't to be feared though. I see them almost exclusively in the fall, when they come out of whatever buggy hole they've inhabited all season to spin a web across the corner of the house and fence. Thank goodness they don't span webs between trees. Too often I'll be walking through our woods and end up "aaack - *spit* - auugh!" when I get a faceful of web. Then I pinwheel my hands over my head, hoping I didn't pick up a passenger

Last edited by elnina; 09-19-2014 at 01:49 AM..
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:21 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,232 posts, read 2,649,215 times
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LOL Silverwing. We have some spiders that have a tendency to span a well constructed web across our front porch during the summer months. The web is one thing, but grabbing onto a quarter sized bulb with legs really freaks me out.

The big problem we have in the summer are really black widows. They're easy to spot. In the daytime, I look around for their terribly constructed webs, and then go back out at night to find them hanging about. I tell my wife that I'm on a 'bug hunt' a few times during the summer. I find can of wasp killer with it's long distance shooting ability works best.

http://lei-chipamerikasite.nl/images/black%20widow.jpg (broken link)

Fortunately, they're not terribly aggressive spiders and won't go after you. They'd rather be left alone and usually place there webs in areas away from well traveled paths. But they can be damned poisonous and can propagate like you wouldn't believe.

Your arachnid looks fascinating, but I sure don't want to be messing with one of those. Even if it's not poisonous (it looks like it is), it can bite I'm sure. eh.
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