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Description: These critters are not ants, they are actually wasps. The females have no wings and the males have no real stinger. Mutillidae are a family of wasps whose wingless females resemble ants. Their common name velvet ant refers to their dense hair which may be red, black, white, silver, blue, or gold. Their bright colours serve as aposematic signals. They are known for their extremely painful sting, facetiously said to be strong enough to kill a cow, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant is applied to some species. Unlike a real ant, they do not have drones, workers, and queens.
They invade the nests of wasps and bees so their integument (skin) is very tough and roughly textured to protect against stings. Like related families in the Vespoidea, males have wings but females are wingless.
Female velvet ants are typically seen running somewhat erratically on the ground, especially on bare or sandy areas in the warm summer months. They occasionally enter structures for insect prey. Males are often found on flowers, although some species are nocturnal.
The females are the only ones capable of stinging a human. Their sting is very painful, but not lethal. Most stings are the result of walking barefooted in an infested area.
Wikipedia: Hymenoptera - Mutillidae