Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia)

The Asian Giant Hornet, nicknamed the “Yak-killer Hornet” in Japan, is the world’s largest hornet. Native to temperate and tropical regions of East Asia, this hornet is now found in Russia, India and the United States. The average body length is 2 inches with a wing span of 3 inches. This hornet is capable of injecting large amounts of potent venom into its victims through a 6 millimeter stinger. Since the stinger is un-barbed, the hornet is capable of stinging its victim multiple times. Mitchell Notoro, Asian Giant Hornet attack victim said ” I was walking into my front door around midnight and felt a sudden rush of pain in my arm, which caused me to throw everything in my hands across the house into the wall as I woke up my parents with my screams. Then I saw what looked like a yellow jacket on steroids flying around the kitchen light. My arm looked like someone beamed a softball into it and I was bleeding from where I was stung. It felt as if a boiling hot bleach covered screw getting power-drilled into my arm, it kept me up the entire night and hurt for several days.” The sting from an Asian Giant Hornet releases a pheromone which then attracts more to the area, this is what allows them to be such efficient killers. It has been documented that a single Asian Giant Hornet can kill 300 honeybees in under a minute and 30 hornets can kill 30,000 honeybees in within 1 hour. The venom is a cocktail of eight different enzymes all consisting of a unique purpose ranging from disrupting breathing to dissolving flesh. This powerful venom combined with its aggressive temperate is why the Asian Giant Hornet is responsible for over 40 human fatalities a year in Japan alone.

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