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2021

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The Velvet Ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae): Systematics, Biology, And Biogeography Of A Little-Known Family, George Charles Waldren May 2021

The Velvet Ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae): Systematics, Biology, And Biogeography Of A Little-Known Family, George Charles Waldren

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023

Insects are a ubiquitous and species-rich component of the biologically-diverse planet we inhabit. The majority of insects are understudied, with many species awaiting formal description and their natural history yet to be discovered. Members of the family Mutillidae, commonly known as velvet ants, are one of these little-known insect groups. Velvet ants are technically wasps, and the wingless females superficially resemble true ants of the family Formicidae. Further, they frequently have a ‘velvety’ appearance and are often brightly colored to serve as a warning to would-be predators that they have the ability to inflict a painful sting. These insects are …