Hornets are representatives of the so-called public or paper wasps, because they prefer to live in colonies, and for the construction of nests they use paper of their own production, which they get by chewing on wood fibers.
The Vespins subfamily (the hornets belong to it, based on not so long-standing studies of scientists), is considered the most highly developed. The name "hornet" itself dates back to Sanskrit, and based on the famous dictionary of Fasmer also has Slavic roots. Hornet in the photo looks huge and scary, in life they are about two to three times more than wasps.
The huge hornets that live in the mountainous regions of Japan take the lives of several tens of people annually (for example, only a few people die from encounters with dangerous snakes in the land of the rising sun during the same period). Is it worth it to be afraid hornet bite and is this insect so dangerous? You will learn about this by reading this article to the end.
Features and habitat
Insect hornet, being a representative of the wasp family, also belongs to hymenopteran insects, and today there are more than twenty varieties of them. Their body length can reach 3.9 cm, and their weight can reach 200 mg. Females are usually about twice as large as males. Unlike wasps, the color of which consists of black and yellow, the hornets can be brown, black or orange.
Asian hornet is the largest representative of the family, and its body length can reach five centimeters, and the wingspan - seven centimeters. This species lives mainly in India, China, Korea and Japan, as well as in the Primorsky Territory of Russia. It is considered the most dangerous, and its poison can be fatal to humans.
There are also black hornets, which are nesting parasites. Females of this species kill the uterus from a hornet colony of a different variety, taking the dominant place in its place. "Green Hornet" - an action movie with elements of comedy, telling about the life of the eponymous superhero, created based on American comics of the sixties of the twentieth century, in the nature of green hornets there are no insects.
The difference between hornet males and females is the absence of a sting, but it is not so easy to detect the sex of the insect with the naked eye, so it is best to exercise a certain degree of caution when meeting with this representative of the aspen family. The flagellum of males is pointed, and has 12 segments (the flagellum of females, in turn, is formed by 11 segments).
For the rest hornet and wasp have a number of similar features that are directly related to the body structure: a thin waist, a striped belly, transparent thin wings, powerful jaws and large expressive eyes. The hornet is distributed mainly in the Northern Hemisphere.
Vespa Crabro (or common hornet) are distributed throughout Europe, North America, Ukraine and Russia (more precisely, in its European part). Also found in Western Siberia and the Urals. What does a hornet look like?living in Asia?
It is worth noting that these representatives of the aspen family living in Nepal, India, Indochina, Taiwan, Korea, Israel, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Japan, where they are known by the name "sparrow bee" for their impressive size, differ from those known to our compatriots. It is not difficult to meet this insect also in Turkey, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Southern Europe, Somalia, Sudan and several other countries.
Character and lifestyle
One of the main differences between hornets and wasps is the fact that these insects will not climb into a jar of honey or jam and will not annoyly hang around a feast with fragrant pies, fruits or other food. What hornets do? As mentioned above, these insects prefer to lead a social life, straying in flocks, the number of which reaches several hundred individuals.
The founder of the nest is a female who survived the winter and, with the onset of heat, found a suitable place like a crevice in a rock, a hollow in a tree, in the attics of residential buildings, and even in transformer booths. Buzzing loudly, they fly among the trees, nibbling rotting wood, stumps or old bark. Nests are built from hornet wood from several tiers, processing it into paper.
IN hornets nest only one female is prolific, the rest perform the function of servants, involved in the protection, construction, cleaning and extraction of feed. An interesting fact confirming the high level of development of paper wasps: all representatives of this community are able to distinguish each other and the status of individuals by smell or other characteristics.
A hornet attack on people really takes place. And such attacks from these insects are much more than from bees or wasps. The hornet venom contains a fair amount of histamine, which can cause severe allergic reactions in humans, so in case of hypersensitivity to this component, the reaction may be the most unpredictable.
And if one bitten occurs only a small edema with increased heart rate and fever, then another person may have anaphylactic shock with subsequent death.
How to get rid of hornets? In the event that an insect flew into your house, so to speak, in a single copy, then you should not try to kill it with the help of a folded newspaper or a fly swatter. An angry hornet can strike back, which is fraught with very unpleasant consequences. It is best to cover it with a jar or matchbox and throw it into the window.
If wound up hornets under the roof or on a personal plot, you can cover the nest with a plastic bag, after spraying dichlorvos or another insecticide into it, or collect three quarters of a bucket of water and lower the nest into it. There is the most cruel way to destroy hornets. To do this, kerosene or gasoline is collected in the spray gun, then the nest is sprayed and set on fire.
Hornets feed mainly on rotting fruits, nectar, and generally any foods that contain enough sugar or fructose. Hornets also like to include in their own diet the juice of some trees and various insects such as wasps, bees, grasshoppers and the like. Having killed the victim with the help of his poison and processed it with powerful jaws, the hornets secrete a special suspension, which goes to feed the larvae.
Reproduction and longevity
The young uterus, who spent the winter in hibernation, finds the most suitable place for the nest with the onset of spring, and, having built several hundred, lays eggs in them. After that, she personally takes care of them and searches for food. New members of the community take care of the further construction of the nest and the nutrition of the uterus and larvae.
Such a scheme leads to a phenomenally rapid expansion of the family. After about four weeks, new hornets appear from the larvae, and the uterus can be driven out of the nest or even killed, because it is no longer able to lay eggs.
Life span as large hornetsand of working individuals that are found directly in the European part - only a few months, the uterus lives a little longer due to the ability to spend the winter while in hibernation.