The velvet ant might look huggable, with its long bushy fur and bright colors and all that... but you definitely do not want to pick it up and pet it. This “ant” is actually a very dangerous species of wasp from the family Mutillidae, and it'll serve you some serious pain.
The females are known for being wingless, and for their bright coats of colorful hair – ranging from black to blood red, orange, silver and gold. They're also infamous for packing a powerful, painful sting – earning them the nickname “cow killers” (although there are no official accounts of them killing cows).
Photo: Joel Sartore
There are literally thousands of different Mutillidae species out there, and they're most commonly found in dry desert climates in the Southwestern US and Mexico.
Photo: Craig Pemberton/Wikimedia Commons