o The Frog Blog: YouTube Saturday - Japanese Giant Hornet

Saturday, 21 January 2012

YouTube Saturday - Japanese Giant Hornet

Today's science themed YouTube Saturday video goes back to nature - specifically how nature can oft-times be deadly! The Japanese Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica) is a large insect, typically around 4cm long with a wingspan of 6cm, found in the Japanese Isles. It has a large yellow head with large eyes, and a dark brown thorax with an abdomen banded in brown and yellow. It generally feeds on other smaller insects - typically crop pests - and are seen as beneficial to agriculture. However, they also can prey on domesticated honey bees, sometimes killing thousands in a brief period. The video below shows how 30,000 honey bees are killed by just 30 hornets in a few hours. The Japanese Giant Hornets also have particularly strong venom and their sting is said to excruciatingly painful. In fact, over 40 people die every year from anaphylactic shock induced by hornet stings making it the most deadly animal in Japan!