These insects are wasps, not ants. Females are wingless and covered with dense hair, superficially resembling ants. They are black overall with patches of dense orange-red hair on the thorax and abdomen. The velvet ant’s sting is a No. 4 (the highest) on the insect sting pain index, which makes it one of the most painful stings on Earth. This is one wasp that you don’t want to provoke. People who are allergic to insect stings should avoid velvet ants at all costs. Those who aren’t allergic or don’t have a reaction to the venom that is injected will experience an intense pain that can last up to 30 minutes.