Flying Red Velvet Ant: The Vicious Insect to Watch Out for!

The flying red velvet ant is not actually an ant, but a wasp species with a sting so painful it is also known as the “cow killer ant.” The flying red velvet ant, also known as the “cow killer ant,” belongs to the wasp family and is infamous for its incredibly painful sting.

Despite its name, it is not actually an ant but a species of wingless wasp, and can be identified by its bright red and black colors. The female flying red velvet ant does not have wings and is typically larger than the male, which does have wings.

These insects are often seen wandering over the ground in search of their main food source: nectar from flowers. While their sting is not typically fatal, it should be avoided as it can cause intense pain, swelling, and a burning sensation that can last up to an hour.

Flying Red Velvet Ant: The Vicious Insect to Watch Out for!


The Flying Red Velvet Ant: An Overview

The flying red velvet ant is a fascinating insect with a unique appearance. This species is predominantly black and covered in red fuzz, giving it a velvet-like texture. The female ants are winged and have a stinging ability that can be quite painful.

The male ants lack wings and are often mistaken for wasps because of their coloration. Flying red velvet ants are solitary insects and are rarely seen in large groups. These ants can be found in a wide range of habitats, from forests to deserts.

Despite their beauty, the flying red velvet ant is considered a vicious insect because of its sting, which can cause a lot of discomfort and swelling. It is important to avoid disturbing or provoking this species to prevent any unwanted encounters.

The Sting And Pain Of The Flying Red Velvet Ant

Flying red velvet ants are known for their iconic sting, considered to be one of the most painful in the insect world. The sting is described as a sharp, burning sensation that lasts for around 30 minutes. The aftermath includes swelling, redness, and sometimes even nausea.

In comparison to other insects’ stings, such as bees or wasps, the flying red velvet ant sting is often deemed to be more intense. Though the ants are not aggressive and rarely attack unless provoked, it’s best to keep a safe distance and wear protective clothing when encountering them in the wild.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Flying Red Velvet Ant

What Is A Flying Red Velvet Ant?

A flying red velvet ant is actually a wasp species with a fuzzy red appearance.

Are Flying Red Velvet Ants Dangerous?

Although they have a painful sting, flying red velvet ants are not considered dangerous to humans.

Why Do They Call It A Velvet Ant?

Flying red velvet ants have a velvety texture appearance due to their numerous hairs covering their body.

Where Can I Find Flying Red Velvet Ants?

You can find flying red velvet ants in the southern united states, particularly in dry and sandy areas.

What Do Flying Red Velvet Ants Eat?

Flying red velvet ants feed on the nectar of flowers and the larvae of other insects.

Do Flying Red Velvet Ants Fly?

Yes, flying red velvet ants are capable of flying despite their fuzzy appearance as they are a type of wasp.

Can I Keep Flying Red Velvet Ants As Pets?

It is not recommended to keep flying red velvet ants as pets as they are wild animals and have a painful sting.


The flying red velvet ant is a fascinating creature that’s worth learning about. Its unique appearance, painful sting, and interesting behavior make it stand out from other insects. We’ve discovered that its bright coloration is a warning to predators and that it’s actually a type of wasp.

Although it’s easy to be frightened by its sting, the flying red velvet ant is a valuable member of the ecosystem. Its role in pollinating flowers and preying on other insects ensures the balance of the environment. If you ever come across a flying red velvet ant, it’s important to admire it from a distance and appreciate its beauty without disturbing it.

Overall, we hope that this post has helped you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of this unique insect.


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Author Bio
Emmanuel Orta

Hi, I am Emmanuel, and I love everything about insects, plants and building terrariums.


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