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Mutillidae (velvet ants; suborder Apocrita, superfamily Scolioidea) Family of wasps which are parasitic on ground-nesting sphecoid and vespoid wasps and solitary bees. Adults are hairy and often brightly coloured, the males being winged and the females apterous. The apterous females resemble ants but have a ‘felt line’ on the second segment of the gaster, and can inflict painful stings (e.g. Dasymutilla occidentalis (cow killer or mule killer) which, despite its name, does not kill any large mammals).

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