Mutillidae or velvet ants, also known as cow killers, are not ants but a type of wasp. They get their name from the hair that grows on their back. The hair ranges from red and black to completely white. Their shell is very tough, providing protection against wasp and bee stings. The males have wings, but the females are completely wingless.
It is wrongly said that their venom is powerful enough to kill a cow, hence the nickname “cow killers.”
The earliest-known velvet ants are believed to be specimens from the Dominican Republic preserved in amber for some 25 to 40 million years.