Scientists report rare “cow killer” wasps spotted in Scotland

Scientists have reported rare sightings of “cow killer” wasps with explosive stings in Scotland.

The James Hutton Institute, based in Aberdeen, revealed that velvet ants have been spotted three times in the north-east within the past four years.

Before this, previous sighting of the insect were in the Angus glens 32 years ago.

The insect, which is a species of wasp, has a sting described as “explosive” and causes intense pain lasting half an hour.

Although their sting it isn’t deadly to humans, they are known to have the ability to kill cows.

The insect resembles a large ant and has a dense pile of hair and are most commonly known to be red or orange in colour.

The female is wingless and armed with a one inch stinger that can deliver a painful dose of venom.

Unlike real ants, they don’t have a queen and have also been known as “cow ants”.

Surveys revealed the insects were detected in August and September in 2013.

And in September 2016, a female velvet ant was spotted running around an abandoned ant nest in Lower Deeside.

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