Velvet Ant

This is not a true ant, but instead a wingless female wasp with a very hard body which helps protect it from stings while they invade the nests of their bee and wasps hosts. Many velvet ants make squeaky noises when picked up; however, this is highly advised against as velvet ants have incredibly painful stings, earning them the name “cow killers” in parts of the United States. The pain can be severe, much worse than that of a yellow jacket or bee. The males however, have wings and do not sting.