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Tennessee | United States


Cow Killer Wasp (Wasp)


Dasymutilla occidentalis



Entry Last Edited: 01/10/2023 | Content ©www.BugsOfTennessee.com

Insect Order

HYMENOPTERA
Order Hymenoptera encompasses Ants, Bees, and Wasps. About 18,000 types reside in North Amerca (excluding Mexico). Like other insects, they have chewing mouth parts for breaking down food sources. Ants can deliver bites through their mandibles while Bees and Wasps sting to repel threats and subdue prey. The order typically operates during the warm summer months across Tennessee. Bees are an utterly important part of the state's ecosystem, eating pollen and nectar to help raise their young - Bee by-products are essential in many human products and their pollinating action serves many other purposes. While Bees and Wasps live in carefully constructed nests, the social Ant survives in colony made up of networked tunnels. The furry Bumble Bee is not aggressive by nature though disturbing an in-ground nest of Yellow Jacket wasps will be a mistake made only once!


Taxonomy

Other Names: "Eastern Velvet Ant"

The Taxonomic Breakdown is the scientific way to categorize a partocular insect species from its largest group (Animalia) to its smallest (variable). The Genus and Species categorizations taken together make up the species' scientific name shown above, in this case Dasymutilla occidentalis.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Mutillidae
Genus: Dasymutilla
Species: occidentalis


Characteristics

Abdomen insect icon
Abdomen: Has a noticeably large / oversized abdomen.
Antenna insect icon
Antenna: Antenna are noticeably apparent on this insect.
Caution insect icon
Caution: Caution should be exercised around this insect.
Harmlful insect icon
Harmful: Known to be harmful in one way or another.
Outdoor insect icon
Outdoors: Typically found across the great outdoors.
Six-Legged insect icon
Six-Legged: Six legs are common to this insect.
Stinging insect icon
Stinging: Known to sting if bothered / threatened.
Striped / Banded insect icon
Striped / Banded: Noticeable stripes or banding pattern.


Description

The Cow Killer Wasp is also known by these other names:

Eastern Velvet Ant

The Cow Killer Wasp has been identified by site users by the following descriptors:

large    six-legged    outdoors    painful    harmful    stinging    hairy    fuzzy    antenna    abdomen    red    black    striped


Sighting Guide

The general likelihood of encountering this insect based on a given month of the year in the state of Tennessee. Generally, the best sighting months are June through August with peak occurring in July.

41F
JAN
44F
FEB
53F
MAR
62F
APR
70F
MAY
78F
JUN
80F
JUL
79F
AUG
73F
SEP
62F
OCT
52F
NOV
44F
DEC

Size

Below is a representation of the 'smallest-small' and 'largest-large' sizes commonly associated with the Cow Killer Wasp. Due to monitor differences, sizes may not be exact on your particular screen. Conversions to millimeters are provided for convenience.

Lowest-Low:
0.59 inches
(15 mm)
Highest-High:
0.98 inches
(25 mm)


Identifying Colors

Below you will find the colors most commonly associated with the Cow Killer Wasp. Both Primary and Secondary colors are represented in the showcase. Due to monitor differences, colors may not be exact representations.

RED
BLACK


Tennessee County Reach

The Cow Killer Wasp can be found in the following Tennessee counties:

Anderson; Bedford; Benton; Bledsoe; Blount; Bradley; Campbell; Cannon; Carroll; Carter; Cheatham; Chester; Claiborne; Clay; Cocke; Coffee; Crockett; Cumberland; Davidson; De Kalb; Decatur; Dickson; Dyer; Fayette; Fentress; Franklin; Gibson; Giles; Grainger; Greene; Grundy; Hamblen; Hamilton; Hancock; Hardeman; Hardin; Hawkins; Haywood; Henderson; Henry; Hickman; Houston; Humphreys; Jackson; Jefferson; Johnson; Knox; Lake; Lauderdale; Lawrence; Lewis; Lincoln; Loudon; Macon; Madison; Marion; Marshall; Maury; McMinn; McNairy; Meigs; Monroe; Montgomery; Moore; Morgan; Obion; Overton; Perry; Pickett; Polk; Putnam; Rhea; Roane; Robertson; Rutherford; Scott; Sequatchie; Sevier; Shelby; Smith; Stewart; Sullivan; Sumner; Tipton; Trousdale; Unicoi; Union; Van Buren; Warren; Washington; Wayne; Weakley; White; Williamson; Wilson


Cow Killer Wasp Picture (1)

1 of 1
Image of an adult Cow Killer Wasp insect crawling about the ground.; Credit: Julie W. of Franklin, TN.
This image is original to www.InsectIdentification.org; Used with Permission.

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