Weird looking demon wasp bug
September 28, 2009
Hey WTB,
I saw this bug crawling outside my window tonight and I’ve never seen anything like it here! It looks like a cross between a mutated yellow jacket and a wasp. I checked your site but the closest thing I think could be is some kind of cicada killer but I’m not sure. The pictures don’t really give you a sense of size but I’d say the bug is about 3 inches long and the abdomen is about half and inch wide. Sorry about the pictures, it was flying quickly in and out of sight and those were the best pictures I could catch of it.
Thanks for your time and I love the site!
knoxville, tn

European Hornet

European Hornet

Hi Stephanie,
We have been getting numerous reports of European Hornets, Vespa crabro, this year.  This introduced species is very adaptable, and it may displace native species once it becomes established in an area.

2 Responses to European Hornet attacted to light

  1. Melissa Horton says:

    How do they nest? I found a white substance in my window frame that looks like a cigareete filter and it had “brown seed looking” eggs buried within it. I used a screwdriver to dislodge it and they fell to the ground. Scary. It was shorty after that when I turned on a lamp at my desk that one of those scary wasp like yellow jacket that was huge, stung me. It was very painful.

    • bugman says:

      According to BugGuide: “Queens emerge from hibernation during the spring, and they search for a suitable location in which to start a new nest. They build the nest with chewed wood pulp, and a few eggs are laid in individual paper cells; these eggs develop into non-reproductive workers. When 5-10 workers have emerged, they take over the care of the nest, and the rest of queen’s life is devoted solely to egg laying. The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on. The nest reaches its peak size towards mid September. At this time the queen lays eggs that develop into males (drones) and new queens, she then dies shortly after. The new queens and males mate during a ‘nuptial flight’, after which the males die, and the newly mated queens seek out suitable places in which to hibernate; the old nest is never re-used.” Here is an image of a European Hornet Nest from BugGuide.

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