Mutillidae

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Mutillidae

[myü′til·ə‚dē]
(invertebrate zoology)
The velvet ants, a family of hymenopteran insects in the superfamily Scolioidea.

Mutillidae

 

(velvet ants), a family of Aculeata. The males are winged, while the females are without wings and resemble ants. The body is highly chitinized. It is densely covered with black, red, golden, and white hairs, usually arranged in a spotted or banded pattern. There are about 3,000 species, which are distributed mainly in the tropics. The larvae parasitize the larvae of wasps and bees. Female Mutillidae invade the nests of insect hosts and deposit an egg on the adult larva. The Mutillidae larva then eats the host larva and pupates in its chamber. One species of Mutillidae parasitizes the pupae of the tsetse fly.