For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Velvet Ant (Dolichomutilla sycorax)

Velvet Ant (Dolichomutilla sycorax) family Mutillidae Hymenoptera (Wasps)

When I bought my first little point and shoot camera way back in 2008 in order to take pictures of insects, little did I know that this was going to become the foremost thing of importance in my life. I did not for one minute think that bugs of any kind could be interesting enough to capture my heart. Now, I live and breath BUGS!! If you have to love something, why not insects?? :)

There are a few hundred species of Velvet ants (Mutillidae) in South Africa of which I have sofar only managed to photograph 2.

This is Dolichomutilla sycorax and mostly lays its eggs on and paratizes wasp larvae. It bites its way into a cell and lays an egg on the pupa inside, resealing the nest when leaving.

For pictures of the second species and more information on Velvet Ants, please follow this link.

I could probably have chosen something easier to photograph though and not something that bites, flies, crawls, jumps etc and is so difficult to keep still to get good photographs.


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Your photos are always excellent and these are no exception. Interesting post. Diane

Gaelyn said...

You chose just right, looking at the often overlooked. And you've come a long ways from the P&S.

Hope all is well.

Think road trip next year.

Craig Glenn said...

Our velvet ant is not an ant at all but a wingless wasp that packs quite a sting. Some hear call them cow ants. Great photos once again bug lady!