Case of the Panda Ant

A panda ant? I just had to find out more about this insect.

Surprisingly this charismatic "ant" was difficult to find, and involved translating a lot of spanish text. Alas I discovered this "ant" is actually a wingless wasp from Chile. The specimens collected and cataloged in the Virtual Biodiversity Insectarium were hermaphrodites about 8mm in length from a near coastal region in central Chile.

Pretty cute for a wasp.. but its interesting how similar it looks to this Thistledown Velvet Ant, Dasymutilla gloriosa found in Mexico, California, Texas, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona.



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