One of our clients asked us some time ago to keep up with any unusual or interesting bugs that we may come across while doing pest control in Athens, GA and the surrounding areas for her child's insect collection. One of our technicians really got into it and brought in two pretty neat bugs this week into the office, a rhinoceros beetle & velvet ants.
While as pest control professionals it's typically our job to exterminate insects and not collect them, in this case we had to share.
The rhinoceros beetle, or the Dynastinae, is very interesting because of it's massive size. There are over 300 species of rhinoceros beetles found world wide. This particular rhino beetle is a female Eastern Hercules Beetle and is typically found in our area of Georgia and around the Southern US. Male Hercules Beetles have three projections on their heads, helping to give them the name rhinocerous beetle.
Velvet Ants (Cow Ants)
Velvet ants, or Mutillidae, are actually not ants at all. They are a type of wasp where the females have no wings. They get their name from the dense hair on their bodies that is typically orange or red but can be other colors as well. They are known in our area as cow ants because their extremely painful stings are believed to be able to kill a cow. There are between 3,000-5,000 species of mutilldae mostly found in the dry tropics and in dry sandy areas in the US.