One, very large female velvet ant, just under an inch long, crawling through sandy soil in coastal sage scrub. It stopped next to cottontail rabbit pellets which it somewhat resembled. Looks alot like Dasymutila sackeni.
I remember @rsp mentioning his extensive velvet ant collection -- I remember thinking, "Yeah, this guy I could get along with." :)
Fuzzy orange and black bee on damaged tree.
Can anyone tell me if the bee caused the damage to the tree? The second picture is a larger picture of the tree the bee was on. I'm wondering if it was caused by deer antlers or the bees?
(I'm guessing at the ID)
The genus Dasymutilla belongs to the Mutillidae family. The females of the genus are well known for their painful sting, which is where many gain their common name, Cow Killer. The female is wingless and often resemble large ants while the males still retain their wings. The larva of the Dasymutilla are external parasites to various types of hymenoptera. When disturbed the Dasymutilla makes a high-pitched squeaking sound identical to the Pogonomyrmex (Harvester ant).