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velvet ant

noun
1.
any of several fuzzy, often brightly colored wasps of the family Mutillidae, the wingless, antlike female of which inflicts a severe sting.
Origin
1740-1750
1740-50, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for velvet-ant

velvet ant

noun
1.
a solitary digger wasp of the family Mutillidae
Word Origin
C19: so named from the wingless female
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for velvet-ant

velvet ant

any of a group of wasps (order Hymenoptera) that are named for the covering of dense hairs and somewhat antlike appearance of the wingless females. Males are also covered with dense hairs but have wings and resemble wasps. Most species are brightly coloured, with yellow, orange, or red patterns, ranging in size from about 6 to 20 mm (about 0.25 to 0.80 inch). Males are generally less brightly marked than the females. About 3,000 species are known, and they are most prevalent in the hot, dry regions of the Western Hemisphere.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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12
15
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