The Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia, which includes the subspecies of Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica), is the largest hornet that scientists know of.
The insect is colloquially popular as the yak-killer hornet in some regions. These insects are native to temperate and tropical Eastern Asia.
Their body length is approximately 2 in (50 mm), and their wingspan about averages about 3 in (7.6 cm). Furthermore, their stinger is usually 0.25 in (6 mm) in length. This is one long stinger. With this, they inject copious amounts of potent venom.[clickToTweet tweet=”The Asian Giant Hornet is the largest known #hornet and has a long stinger. @ourbplanet” quote=” The Asian Giant Hornet is the largest known hornet and has a long stinger.”]
The head of the Hornet is orange and quite wide in comparison to other hornet species. Also, the compound eyes and ocelli are dark brown, and the antennae are dark brown with orange scapes.
Asian Giant Hornet Physical Description
The clypeus (shield-like plate on the front of the head) is orange and coarsely punctured. The posterior side of the clypeus has narrow, rounded lobes. The mandible is large and orange with a black tooth (inner biting surface) that is useful for burrowing.
The thorax and propodeum (the abdominal segment that is fused with the posterior segment of the thorax) have a distinctive golden tint and a large scutellum (a shield-like scale on the thorax) that has a deeply impressed medial line. The postscutellum (the plate behind the scutellum) bulges and overhangs the propodeum.
The hornet’s forelegs are orange with dark brown tarsi (the distal part of the leg). The midlegs and hindlegs are dark browns while wings are a dark brownish-gray. The tegulae are brown as well. The gaster (the portion of the abdomen behind the thorax-abdomen connection) is dark brown with a white, powdery covering. Also, the narrow yellow bands at the posterior margins of the tergite, the sixth segment is entirely yellow.
In summary, this insect is similar in appearance to the established European hornet.
Asian Giant Hornet Habitat Range
They inhabit areas in the Primorsky Krai region of Russia, Korea, China, Taiwan (where the name is “tiger head bee”), Indochina, Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka. However, they are most common in rural areas of Japan, where they are popular as “giant sparrow bee”.