Holy Cow Killer!

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I’ve seen this type of bug before in my yard. Once last year, and by the time I got the phone out, and ready to shoot, it had blended into the yard. Amazing that because of the coloring; you’d think it would stand out like a sore thumb.

This time, I was lucky because I had my D7500 with the 105mm macro lens on hand.

I never would have guessed it to be a flightless wasp . . . and, likewise, that it went by the unlikely name of “cow killer”. You can read about them HERE and HERE (both of those are links).

They also go by other common names; red velvet ant, eastern velvet ant, cow ant. And, of course, cow killer (apparently, its sting is strong enough to kill a cow). These things are fast and do move like an ant . . . a large ant.

I shot twenty-four photos, of which only ten were in focus.

Scratch that . . . one of the ten (the next photo) is only included because of the rock face that reminded me of the Easter Island statues … only with a disgusted look as opposed to the stately far-gaze of the actual statues. Also, maybe a glass eye.

The wasp is out-of-focus, but the rock face is presentable enough.

The reason for the high failure rate was the speed of the thing as well as its erratic movements. Not sure if it was hunting me or trying to get away from me. Of course, at the time I knew nothing about it being able to kill cows . . . then again, I ain’t a bovine (although I often ruminate, but not like a cow).

One other thing . . . the white mark on its back. I’m assuming it survived a scrape with some other critter, but it could also be a natural discoloration (genetic flaw). I lean more toward it being a scar. The back of these cow killers is normally all red.

The last photo has me leaning toward it trying to get away from me because once it got into the tall grass (tall for it, not me) it found what it considered shelter from prying eyes and stopped running.

You would think it would be hard for it to hide (sore thumb, and all) but, truthfully, had I not been following it, or had I looked away, it would have been difficult to spot.

Anyway, Holy Cow killer!

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