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Pictures of the day: 23 March 2012

A Thistledown Velvet Ant, also known as a Cow Killer, is seen in the Mojave Desert, California. It isn't really an ant, but a wingless female wasp. This photograph was taken by Robert Jensen after his son Chris found the unusual insect wandering around on the desert floor. The female wasp is about 2cm long; the males are much smaller and have wings. Their sting can be quite painful.

Desert Mojave Ball Python, Python Regius, 2 Gene Morph, reptile, scaled, brown, tan, straw yellow striped