cow-killer ant n Also cow ant, cow killer, cow stinger, cow wasp
A velvet ant n.
1870 Amer. Entomologist 2.155 neTX, I have never heard any reason for applying the term Cow-killer to Mutilla coccinea. It is very generally known by that name here. 1879 Amer. Bee Jrl. 15.464 swMO, Please give us an account of the “varmint” inclosed. . . He has a sting ½ inch long and is called by the natives here, “cow-killer.” 1883 Amer. Naturalist 17.1.323 cnNC, Note on Mutilla (occidentalis L.).—From early boyhood I have occasionally seen this insect , but perhaps . . not more than fifteen or twenty of those of large size. They are known as “cow-killers” or “cow-stingers.” 1884 U.S. Bur. Entomol. Bulletin 4.87 cnFL, The Mutilla (cow ant) this year has nearly cleared my trees of the cresphontes. 1899 Bergen Animal Lore 63, Cow-killer, cow-killer-ant, Mutilla, Clerus or Trichodes. South. Ibid 93, A hymenopterous insect, which somewhat resembles a red ant, is known as “cow-killer,” from the (imaginary) effects of its sting upon cattle. Alabama and Texas. 1914 Jrl. Amer. Folkl. 27.246 SC, The sting of the big “cow-ant” [Footnote: Sphærophthalma occidentalis (female), or velvet-ant] is deadly poison. 1933 Jaeger CA Deserts 58, Those furry-backed insects which so energetically wander about on the sands, and which are known as fuzzy ants or cow-killers, are really solitary, parasitic wasps. 1954 Harder Coll.cwTN, Cow ant: A big black ant. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. R17, . . Big black ants that sting) 15 Infs, Sth, Cow ant; GA7, Cow killer; NC49, Cow stinger [appears] alone, not in groups; looks like a piss-ant; (Qu. R18, . . Kinds of ants) 11 Infs, Sth, Cow ant; AL17, FL34, IL119, NC24, 41, SC43, Cow killer; VA35, Cow wasp; (Qu. R12) Inf TX68, Cow killers. 2004 Atlanta Jrl.–Constitution (GA) August 13 sec HG 4/4, [Letter:] I have discovered a new insect around my yard and it doesn’t look nice. It looks like a big, red ant with a black stripe around the middle. My neighbor said they are “cow ants.” 2017 Oklahoman (OK City OK) 5 Aug sec F 4/1, In Oklahoma, the most common velvet ant is the cow killer ant, Dasymutilla occidentalis.