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Asian Giant Hornet

Scientific Name
Vespa mandarinia
Scientific Author
Smith, 1852
(Hymenoptera: Vespidae)
Exotic species - absent from Australia

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Diagnostic Images

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Diagnostic Images (9)
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Diagnostic Notes
The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), including the subspecies Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica) is the world's largest hornet, native to temperate and tropical Eastern Asia. Its body length is approximately 50 mm, its wingspan about 76 mm and it has a 6 mm sting which injects a large amount of potent venom.

The head of the hornet is orange and quite wide in comparison to other hornet species. The compound eyes and ocelli are dark brown, and the antennae are dark brown with orange scapes. The clypeus 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 which is used for burrowing.

The thorax and propodeum of the Asian giant hornet has a distinctive golden tint and a large scutellum that has a deeply-impressed medial line; the postscutellum bulges and overhangs the propodeum. The hornet's forelegs are orange with dark brown tarsi; the midlegs and hindlegs are dark brown. Wings are a dark brownish-gray. The tegulae are brown.

The metasoma is dark brown with a white, powdery covering; with narrow yellow bands at the posterior margins of the tergite, the sixth segment is entirely yellow. It is similar in appearance to the established European hornet, Vespa crabro.
More Information
Specimen Contact
Museum Victoria
McCaffrey, Sarah & Ken Walker
05/03/2012 12:07 AEST
Last Updated
08/03/2012 15:30 AEST
McCaffrey, Sarah & Ken Walker (2012) Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) Updated on 3/8/2012 3:30:30 PM Available online: PaDIL -
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Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License