What’s Orange, Black, Fuzzy, and Runs Really Fast?

 

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Buck and I were about to take a walk in the woods late this morning, when Buck spotted this strange-looking critter running across the driveway. It looks like a surreal, huge, fuzzy ant. We tried to get him stopped long enough for me to take a picture, but nothing doing. I only got this one because he probably thinks he’s hidden. It’s called a Red Velvet Ant, or sometimes the Cow Killer Ant. In fact, it’s a type of wingless wasp. Read about it here. Note: They are not aggressive, but if you step on one bare-footed, you’re liable to get a painful sting.  I don’t think they actually kill cows, though.

Red Velvet Ant

As you all well know by now, there's no telling what Buck and I may see in the woods around here. Just when I am sure I have seen it all, Buck finds some new weird bug or critter. We walked this afternoon. All of a sudden, Buck said, "Look! There's one of those big red squeaking ants! I'll get him hemmed up and you take his picture."

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If my research is correct, "he" is "she," and not an ant at all, but a type of wasp. Click here to read a question and answer from the All Experts entomology forum. It's informative and funny as all get out, especially when the questioner describes how "the darn ant started to cry."

She stayed still for a few seconds, possibly believing she was hidden under those two blades of grass, and then went boogedy, boogedy, boogedy down the fireline road, so fast she made me think of a hovercraft.