Subject: Cow Killer and the Close Call
Location: Washington-on-the-Brazos; Washington County, Texas
September 7, 2014 9:54 pm
Long story involving 1) hordes of hungry mosquitoes (who ignore or perhaps even enjoy the taste of Deep Woods Off), and 2) an epic storm front composed of towering purple cloud banks, lightning, and buckets of rain, caused our planned day at the beach in Galveston, Texas to evolve into a walking tour of historic Washington-on-the-Brazos in central Texas.
So, I’m walking in the grass near the Brazos River instead of on the crushed-granite path at the park because I’m wearing flip-flops intended for sandy-beach-walking and don’t want to get rock shards in my shoes. I look down just in time to see my bare toes dangerously close to this very fast-moving red and black velvety creature. Thanks to you and your informative website, I know that this is probably a cow killer, a velvet “ant” that’s really a female wasp with an agonizing sting!! I did a quick “jump back, Jack”, in time to save myself from a terrible sting.
Yeah. I opted to walk on the crushed rock pathways after that, keeping my eyes peeled for stinging insects.
Interesting day.
Thank you for the informative web site. You may have saved me from an agonizing sting, because I guarantee that I wouldn’t have known what this insect was without you.
Most of the photos that I took (from the relative safety of the pathway) are blurry because the insect was so fast in moving over, under, and around the leaves and grass.
Signature: Ellen



Dear Ellen,
Since you didn’t have a question, our response is short.  Thanks for sending us the account of your encounter with this Cowkiller.

Location: Washington County, Texas

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