Approximately 435 species in North America, most in Southwest. Worldwide, about 230 genera (or subgenera), 8,000 species Univ. Florida
Females wingless and very hairy, resembling large ants. Note lack of node (bump) on "waist" between abdomen and thorax. Ants have one or two nodes there.
Males winged, less hairy, look more like typical wasps, larger than females.
Adults (males at least) are observed taking nectar.
of other solitary hymenoptera (bees and wasps). Sometimes reported to attack other groups as well, e.g., beetles, flies (Univ. Florida
Some velvet ants can give an excruciating sting if handled
Manley, D. F. 1991, The velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) of South Carolina: South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Tech. Bull. 1100, 55 pp.
Borror and White, p. 344, plate 15 (1)