Panda Ant Facts

There are several panda ant facts that many people are yet to know. One such fact is the fact that Panda ants are not necessarily ants but wasps in the hymenopteran family Multillidae also called velvet ants. Multillidae is a family made up of more than 3,000 species of wasps in which the females represents an ant. These insects own their name from their black and white color. The females are often wingless, huge and have many furs on its body. These insects have a lovely appearance but have one nasty sting that could get ferociously painful on your skin. This is why they are also called "cow-killer," since they are capable of knocking out a cow or other animals that are much larger than they are. They also have a tough exoskeleton that help them while invading their prey's nests and also in retaining moisture since they mostly occupy dry areas.

Still under the panda ant facts is that these insects were first discovered in the coastal region of Central Chile in the year 1938. After that, very few scientists gave it attention until recently when some few studies of it were done. Their immediate habitat is sand or gravel. Today, they are likely to be found in dry tropics and especially common in desert and sandy areas such as Southwestern United States and parts of Mexico.

Another fact that people are yet to discover about these dangerous insects is the fact that they grow up to a length of 8 millimeters and to a height of 2 to 3 millimeters tall. These are the average adult length and height respectively of panda ants.

Another of the interesting panda ant facts is that they exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism. This means that the males and the females in the same species are different making it easy to identify them. The males are usually very large as compared to the females and they are the ones that carry the female while mating. In fact, it is rather difficult to conclude that they are found under the same group of species unless you find them mating.

There other interesting fact about these insect is their day-to-day habits. They primarily depend on nectar as their main source of food. The males tend to be nocturnal while the females are the ones that are rather active during the day. It is important to note that Panda ants are more active during the temperatures that occur after sunset. There is no clear explanation to these but it remains that they are not necessarily afraid of the dark. In fact, the perfect term for their kind of behavior is "thermophilic." This means that even though they are not avoiding light, they are active when temperatures often experienced after sunset are available.

After mating, the female will look for an insect nest such as ground nesting bee or a wasp nest where it is going to deposit its eggs near each larva or pupa. After this, the young ones will develop eventually killing their immobile pupa /larva hosts after a few days.