I love velvet ants, or cow killers as they are called for their supposedly incredibly painful sting. I’ve never been stung by one of these wingless wasp warriors…even though I’ve been tempted to try it. All I can tell you is that they are adorable and they make a high pitched squeak like a mouse. And I love them (I took some photos of our pet velvet ants here).
These are a couple of velvet ants I saw in Costa Rica. I will call them “the orange one” and “the black one”.
Also, since I’m on this topic, I can’t believe I didn’t post these photos of the male velvet ant I caught in Arizona last year! Male velvet ants are completely harmless of course, because only the females have stingers (stingers are modified ovipositors in Hymenoptera).