Giant Japanese hornet anatomy rundown

Vespa mandarinia. Photo by netman (Flickr)

The Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, is one of the largest Hymenopterans; behind only tarantula hawks (Pepsinae) I believe. They are ravenous predators of other insects (watch a honey bee hive massacre here) and can even be extremely agressive to humans, especially if a nest is disturbed. These hornets are fairly intimidating beasties to be sure, and I wouldn’t want to handle a live one. Check out this great video where someone describes the interesting features of a dead giant hornet that he found while walking in Japan.

Yikes, that stinger looks like it can do some serious damage. I wonder if there is any truth to the claims that their venom can melt flesh and kill a non-allergenic person?


3 Responses to “Giant Japanese hornet anatomy rundown”

  1. 1 Andrew Pace August 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Wow, what a beast. Thank you for sharing your video. I have to admit, my first reaction upon seeing this thing is, “kill it with fire!” That’s probably not the response you’re looking for, but my goodness, the term “formidable” does that wasp no justice. Again, great find.

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Michael Bok is a graduate student studying the visual system of mantis shrimp.

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