Family Mutillidae (Velvet Ants)

The Velvet Ants are parasitic on social wasps and bees.  The female is wingless, and the males are larger with dark wings. Only the females can sting using a modified ovipositor.  Their sting is apparently very painful, leading to their nick-name “Cow Killers”.

Composed of two Australian subfamilies. Most of the Australian species are placed in the genus Ephutomorpha.

Subfamily Mutillinae
Composed of three Australian genera.

Subfamily Sphaeropthalminae
Composed of seven Australian genera.

Genus Ephutomorpha


Genus Odontomyrme

  IMG 7827


Turner, R. E. 1914. Notes on fossorial Hymenoptera. XIV. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 14: 429-450.

Wikipedia 2012. Mutillidae, wiki article, March 15, accessed 26 May 2012, <>

Zborowski, P. and Storey, R. 2010. A Field Guide to Insects In Australia, 3rd Edn. Reed New Holland, Australia.