A Velvet Ant was running around in the leaf litter in a forest near my house. And then I saw another, and another. Ulimately, I saw 5 or 6 of these "ants" running around in the leaf litter. This was an unusual occurence- typically I had only seen one Velvet Ant at a time- this was the first time that I had seen more than 1 together.
"But, Daniel," you protest, "that has to be the ugliest Velvet Ant that I have ever seen." I don't disagree. This species of the Velvet Ant isn't as pretty as pretty or as hairy as other Velvet Ants. It's scientific name is Dasymutilla alesia- and like other Velvet Ants- it stings like the dickens.
Velvet Ant stings are so painful- one of their common names is Cow Killer. And, this aren't ants, they are female wingless wasps. The male Velvet Ant has translucent black wings.
I nominate this insect for the following insect award: Ugliest Velvet Ant Species.