Even though they are known as “velvet ants” because the wingless females resemble ants, mutillids are solitary parasitoid wasps. Females use bees as hosts, laying their eggs next to a pupa or larva, and once the velvet ant larva hatches it consumes its entire host.
Most mutillid species display aposematic (warning) coloration to caution predators of their painful sting. This coloration is often used by other stinging species (Müllerian mimicry) or harmless ones (Batesian mimicry).
There are more than 4,000 species described, but many more to be discovered. Our knowledge of Australian velvet ants is very poor, as they haven’t been studied as a whole. This expedition is the beginning of our journey in understanding velvet ant diversity in Australia.
On this map you'll find all the location of transcribed records of the Velvet ants expedition 5 expedition