Velvet ant, female stinger

Velvet ant, female stinger

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Credit: US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Velvet ant. female stinger. Macrophotograph of a female velvet ant sting. Velvet ants (family Mutillidae) are actually wasps. Males are winged while females are wingless. After mating, the females dig into the nests of bees and wasps and lay their eggs on the host larvae. When the eggs hatch, they consume their host larvae. Although not aggressive, the prominent sting of the female can yield a painful sting. Photographed by the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab: an organisation dedicated to identifying, cataloguing and monitoring bees and other species.

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