Well, not really, but what a catchy title!
This afternoon Joe was out in the front yard while the children were in the little pool. Something was going on in the house that very rarely happens. I was watching a video. (It was a macrobiotic cooking video, in case you were wondering.) Joe came running in shouting “Kris, you have GOT to come out and see this red bug. Bring your camera!” I went running out the office door with my camera and the bug was gone. Joe was fired up and looking through the dirt pile trying to find it. The mother in me came out. “Pray to St. Anthony.” No sooner had I said that the bug was spotted over right near the house. The minute I saw the thing, a big red “Danger” sign appeared in my mind. It was moving really fast which made it really hard to get a good picture. Also, I must admit, since it looked like a giant ant, I didn’t want to get anywhere near it. (Ants in the south bite hard and some sting!) Truthfully it was a beautiful bug. It was a beautiful shade of red with shiny black and it looked like velvet covered it.
I did manage to get some pictures. After that the handy dandy bug book came out. The National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders has this bug on the cover! Well, this is going to be easy. The only thing is that the cover picture does not do the bug justice. Here is what this book says about Cow Killers:
“Female searches for bumble bee nests and drops 1 egg beside each brood chamber. Cow Killer larvae invade brood chambers, feed on the larvae, kill them, and scavenge on their remains. Cow Killer larvae pupate in victim’s brood chambers.
Adult Cow Killers can run quickly and fight ferociously. They get their name from their painful sting – so severe that many people claim it could kill a cow.”
The scientific name is Dasymutilla magnifica.