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The San Dieguito River Park
18372 Sycamore Creek Rd.
Escondido, CA 92025
Phone: (858) 674-2270
Fax: (858) 674-2280
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WWW.SDRP.ORG
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The River Park has converted from a print-based distribution system to a web-based system. If you are interested in receiving e-mail notices when the quarterly activity schedule is posted to the website, and news of special events occurring in the Park, click above to send us an e-mail.

Sacken's Velvet Ant, Dasymutilla sackenii

This is a common species of velvet ant, often seen scurrying along dirt trails in the River Park in the warm, dry months. The female is wingless and searches for the nests of ground-nesting bees and wasps to invade and lay eggs in. Male velvet ants look just like the females, but are winged and readily fly. Velvet ants are not really ants at all, but a type of wasp. The females have a painful sting, so despite their cuddly-looking appearance, should never be picked up!

Text and Photo by Robyn Waayers. Robyn has been a resident of San Diego County since 1977, and is a biology instructor at Palomar, Miramar and Southwestern Colleges, and is also a freelance nature photographer. Contact information: rwaayers@aol.com

 

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