The panda ant

Why Evolution Is True

Well, it’s not really an ant but a wasp—a wasp in the hymenopteran family Multillidae, also called—for obvious reasons—”velvet ants.” (Ants and wasps are fairly closely related; in fact, ants evolved from early wasps.)

In these wasps the females are wingless and the males winged, and their colors and patterns are aposematic: that is, they are “warning” patterns that tell predators to stay away. Predators presumably learn these patterns readily, for velvet wasps have extremely painful stings.

But isn’t this a cute little girl?

I’m not an expert on this group (or any group of insects save Drosophila), but Wikipedia notes this:

They exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism; the males and females are so different, it is almost impossible to associate the two sexes of a species unless they are captured while mating. In a few species, the male is so much larger than the female…

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About marksolock

I am a lawyer in Chicago with interests in pop culture and current politics.
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