is this a yellowjacket?
November 13, 2009
this fellow chomping on some tasty pears i thought was a really nice looking creature, i’m still not sure what he is, a wasp, yellow jacket, got me.
Danny Tincher
london, ky

European Hornet

European Hornet

Hi DAnny,
This behemoth is a European Hornet or Giant Hornet, Vespa crabro, an introduced species that potentially is cause for concern as an invasive species.

Update July 23,We realized we should link to the page which tracks sightings in various states.

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Location: London, Kentucky

8 Responses to European Hornet

  1. Diane C says:

    So sorry,but when I see a poisonous spider or something like this European Hornet wiggling its stinger at me, it is them or me. I do have to admit that these really are quite amazing creatures.
    ,with the way the stripes come from what I would call it’s’ belly around to create what look like dots down the back.Forgive my bug anatomy, it has been many years since biology classes. I, too, was freaked out by the sight of this monster wasp inside my house. How long have they been in this part of the world? Do they live in the ground as a friend of mine suggested? He identified it over the phone correctly as a hornet. What do they live on? I guess since I found one in my house that there is a nest close by?

    • bugman says:

      According to BugGuide, this Eurasian native was introduced to North America in the 1800s and “first detected in Arkansas in 1999.” We believe the introduction was most likely along the east coast, so their populations are spreading west. We believe the nests are constructed above ground in protected locations as this BugGuide posting indicates. BugGuide also notes: “Predatory on other insects, used to feed young. Also girdle twigs to drink sap.”

  2. Diane C says:

    So sorry,but when I see a poisonous spider or something like this European Hornet wiggling its stinger at me, it is them or me. I do have to admit that these really are quite amazing creatures.
    ,with the way the stripes come from what I would call it’s’ belly around to create what look like dots down the back.Forgive my bug anatomy, it has been many years since biology classes. I, too, was freaked out by the sight of this monster wasp inside my house. How long have they been in this part of the world? Do they live in the ground as a friend of mine suggested? He identified it over the phone correctly as a hornet. What do they live on? I guess since I found one in my house that there is a nest close by?

  3. Diane C says:

    Thank you so much for your response. I’m very impressed with your Website, and I am certain to use it again. Diane C.

  4. Curious Girl says:

    Hmmm… do the readers decide whether it’s unnecessary before or after they kill the bug or visit your site?

    I think most people think any “bug” in their personal space, in or out of doors is invasive to them and must die.

    And my observations are that the species listed as being eaten by the European Hornet, also eat other predators, and indeed there are way more reports of people being bitten by Wheel Bugs on this site than stung by the hornet (which does not know it is considered “invasive” but is just doing what s/he is supposed to do in life — really wouldn’t want to carry that concept on to all the other insects, such as Devil’s Coach Horse Rove Beetle, and even people…).

    Most of the invasives in the world (including a lot of the spiders in the US, not limited to the common Cross Spider, Araneus diadematus and Cellar Spider, Wolf Spider, and many Jumping Spiders) are due to human intervention and not their plotting little tiny minds out to annoy the humans.

    This includes the very cool house centipede that most people kill on sight.

    http://bugguide.net/node/view/32329

    The thing is, the hornet probably didn’t want to be in the house, and probably wasn’t going to hurt any of the people in the house, nor hurt the house either.

  5. Dave Harman says:

    I have these European Hornets here near Hughesville PA. One stung me while I was picking Apples. My hand swelled up and I got a low grade fever . BE CAREFUL around them.

  6. Jay says:

    Just had damage to a dogwood diagnosed and it came back as European hornet damage. Bridgewater Ct.

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