Bothriomutilla rugicollis

Meaning of name: Unknown.

Distribution: Found throughout Australia.

Remarks: This wasp is approximately 15 millimetres long.

Commonly called velvet ants, these are wasps, not ants. Female velvet ants are wingless and look like ants. They search the ground looking for the nests of other wasp species. The velvet ant will lay her eggs in the other wasp’s nest. The young velvet ants will feed on the food stores laid down by the other wasp mother.

This individual can be identified as being male as it is only the males that have wings.

These photographs were taken in April.

References: Identification courtesy of David Knowles.

Atlas of Living Australia

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