Although this insect looks like an ant, it is actually a wasp. This wasp grows to about ¾ inch in length. The males have wings, the females do not. The females are the ones that will sting.
The female looks for nests of ground nesting bees. Once located, she eats a hole in the cocoon and deposits her eggs. The newly hatched larvae of the Velvet Ant will eat the host. Over time, this wasp will pupate before emerging as an adult.