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Photos of hornets and a description of the interesting features of their lives

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Hornets are very interesting insects, about the features of life and the danger to humans, we will continue to talk ...

The genus Hornets is a member of the family Wasps. That is why outwardly all hornets resemble the most common social wasps familiar to us, but at the same time they have considerably larger sizes. Anyone who has ever met these insects in nature or simply saw them side by side in one picture will be able to clearly say where the hornet is, and where - even if it is a large one - the wasp.

With some other relatives, the hornets are confused more often. For the most part, such errors are made, of course, by the townspeople, because they know the hornets mostly only from pictures and therefore they call it so any large insects that even remotely resemble them.

In total, there are 23 species of hornets in the world, very similar to each other in lifestyles, but quite different in appearance. So, for example, the size of these insects range from 2-2.5 cm in European hornet to 5 cm in giant Asian.

It is worth noting that in Russia there are representatives of both the smallest and the largest species: the ordinary (European) hornet on the one hand and hornet vespa mandarinia (Asian giant) - on the other. In general, the Asian hornet is common in the countries of Southeast Asia, but, nevertheless, its range reaches Primorye, where a meeting with this insect will not be a surprise for locals.

Below in the photo is the giant Asian hornet, the largest and one of the most dangerous in the world:

The photo shows one of the largest and most dangerous hornets - the giant Asian

If we talk about the country as a whole, then the majority of Russian gardeners and gardeners are better known than others. common hornet - a large wasp up to 3.5 cm long. About this insect among the people there are many myths and fables.

Photo of hornet ordinary:

The hornet ordinary is familiar to the gardeners of the European part of Russia

For example, it is considered that the hornet bite is much more dangerous and painful than the bite of an ordinary wasp, that three hornet together are able to kill a person, and seven — a horse ... for example, one wasp has nine stings. By the way, it is for this reason that the insect is popularly called the hornet-nine.

Needless to say, these are just idle inventions that have little in common with reality and are the result of a lack of awareness among ordinary people about the biology of these insects. But the hornets, however, are still really dangerous for humans ...


Appearance and typical axle features

Externally, the hornet looks quite impressive. The photo shows the characteristic features of the color of the common European hornet:

Agree - hornets look pretty impressive

Some details of the appearance well distinguish these large insects from ordinary wasps. Thus, hornets have a brown spot in the form of a noticeable arc on the upper side of the cephalothorax and the same color as the base of the abdomen and nape. In turn, the common wasp has no brown elements in coloring at all.

In the photo below - the hornet with a significant increase. All the characteristic details of his appearance are visible:

In the photo you can see the look of the hornet in detail, and even 3 extra eyes on his head

And here is a picture of an ordinary paper wasp:

And so ordinary dog ​​wasp

What is the difference between wasps and hornets? Of course, in size - usually the hornet is almost twice as large as its closest relatives. The next photo shows a hornet and a wasp nearby. The obvious difference in size immediately catches the eye:

Although the hornets are similar in appearance to the wasps, they are significantly different in size.

The average size of the working individual of the common hornet is 18-22 mm, the uterus is 28-30 mm. If we talk about wasps, their sizes fluctuate in the intervals of 12-14 mm and up to 18 mm, respectively.

It is interesting

Entomologists can distinguish hornets from simply large-sized wasps even by the shape of their heads: the former have a very wide back of the head, and the latter have, on the contrary, narrowing when moving to the neck.

In general, the hornet has all the features that distinguish any hymenoptera. The hornet in the photo shows a very narrow, “wasp” waist, large eyes with a wide fit and powerful jaws, with which he produces food:

For the hornet, as well as for the wasp, is characterized by a narrow bridge between the chest and abdomen.

On a note

Very often in the southern regions of our country you can find an insect, similar to the hornet and the general appearance and size, but different black color with two orange stripes on the abdomen. This is scolia, also a large wasp, which, nevertheless, does not pose a danger to humans and, moreover, is very useful for agriculture (it destroys the larvae of large beetles). If the size of the hornet is approximately 25 mm, the scoliosis can grow up to 45 mm. There is also the myth that the great blue hornet lives in our country.However, this is just a legend: in this case, a large carpenter bee, really having a violet-blue body, is taken to be a hornet.

In the video, the hornet guards the entrance to the hole where its nest is located:


Hornets near their nest-hole


Types of hornets: the most dangerous, the largest and most aggressive

If you look at the schematic pictures and photos, it will become noticeable that all types of hornets are outwardly quite similar to each other, despite the significant difference in habitat and size. In addition, the lifestyles, nutrition and reproduction of these insects are also generally similar. In this case, all varieties of hornets have some separate, peculiar only to them, features of biology or anatomy.

Let's find out what the hornets are, and dwell on the more "significant" of them.

The common (European) hornet is the most characteristic representative of the genus. He lives in Europe, in the European part of Russia, and not so long ago he was accidentally introduced to the USA, where he multiplied and became a fairly common species.

Below are photos of the hornet, by which it will be possible to identify this insect if you happen to meet it:

It looks like an ordinary (European) hornet


“We had some huge wasps on the terminal near the railway tracks in the switchboard, because of which we could not open and maintain the entire cabinet. Once I picked up one such wasp under the box and looked at the pictures on the Internet. It turned out to be a hornet. I know that the hornet is a dangerous insect, but we haven't bitten anyone, even though the compilers are constantly walking nearby. We decided not to touch them with the whole workshop, and only in the event of some kind of accident, when, in any case, it would be necessary to crawl, to poison them. There were no accidents, even contractors were persuaded not to touch the cabinet once in a test. ”

Renat, Rostov-on-Don

The Eastern Hornet is one of the most beautiful among its brethren. He has an interesting red-brown body color with two wide yellow dressings on the abdomen.

This species is known as the most drought-resistant, able to live and multiply in the conditions of dry steppes and deserts. The eastern hornet lives in Russia and throughout the Middle East. The photo shows a representative of this species of hornets:

Eastern Hornet

The giant Asian hornet is the largest species among the entire genus. This hornet looks like a fantastically enlarged European,but without brown tones in coloring: the length of his body can be up to 5 cm, and the wingspan is up to 6 cm! Such a hornet looks very frightening and in its habitats it is called the “sparrow-bee”.

Photo of a giant Asian hornet:

The orange-black coloring of a giant Asian hornet warns of its danger to others.

In addition, this type of scientists is divided into several subspecies, because The largest hornet in the world has a number of species, differing in some features of biology. So, the most dangerous is considered to be the Japanese giant hornet - an endemic of the Japanese islands, from which bites in this country annually kill about 40 people.

No matter how far this giant seems to be from us, it’s not so difficult for Russians to meet with him - you just need to go on holiday to India, Thailand or China. That is why, planning to spend your holidays in these countries, refer at least to the pictures on the Internet, depicting a huge hornet, so that in case of something to be fully armed.

Black hornet - the only of the genus that is the nesting parasite of its fellows. His female does not raise her own family, but kills the uterus in the nest of an ordinary or Japanese hornets and begins to manage the new housing.This species is a typical example of the fact that hornets are completely different in color than the vast majority of them.

The image below shows the black hornets:

Black hornets

And then the photo shows two varieties of hornets - black and huge Asian.

Black hornet sitting on a tree

Huge asian hornet

If we talk about interspecies interactions of different hornets on the same territory, then we can confidently say that they are always hostile. Insects of equal size are competitors for food, larger species regard small ones as another prey, and the same black ones, in addition to everything else, parasitize their relatives in the nests.


House for the hornet and the danger of their neighborhood with a man

All hornets are social insects. Their working individuals build nests from the thin young bark of trees, which they chew on, mixing with saliva. The whole complex of cells, consisting of a cardboard-like mass, is surrounded by external walls and upon completion of construction it becomes like a huge cocoon.

Hornet nest from a distance looks like a large cocoon.

This structure can simply hang on a branch or be attached to a building, or it can be located in a hollow of a tree or even in a hole of an animal.

Often, the hornets make their nests near gardens and apiaries, where they feed on both harmful insects (bugs, bedbugs, caterpillars) and useful ones (for example, bees).It is not surprising that knowledgeable gardeners and gardeners greatly respect these large wasps, but the beekeepers do not like them very much.

When appearing near the apiary hornets nests the owner of the honey economy is trying to destroy it as soon as possible by any known means in order to avoid the destruction of the hives by these predators.

Hornets can hunt bees and plunder their hives

However, in relation to man directly, hornets are non-aggressive insects. Unless they deliberately pursue them and threaten the nest, they most likely will not sting anyone. Thus, hornet bites are usually either an unexpected accident, or the targeted insect protection of their nest.


“There was a case once on a fishing trip: we are driving a car, and on the side of the road a man goes and staggers like a drunk. We stopped, we look, and his head is like a ball. He said that two hornets had bitten his head. Well, fume, of course. We put him right in the car, a cold towel on his forehead, and to the hospital - 42 km. Not drove, in short, before the village died. The doctors said that the allergy was very strong. ”

Semyon, Vilkovo


Reproduction of the largest wasps

Hornets breed in the same way as most of their relatives, their families almost never live more than one year.

In spring, the young female finds a suitable place for the nest (it should be secluded and protected from drafts), builds initial cells and grows first larvae in them. Immediately after hatching, the working hornets begin to care for the new brood and feed the uterus, the task of which now comes down only to laying eggs.

Such well-adjusted work leads to the fact that the family begins to grow very quickly. The nest is also completed quickly. If you wish, it is easy to find numerous pictures on the Internet that show the homes of hornets at the initial and final stages of construction. Here are some of them:

Hornets usually build their nest from chewed tree bark

Hornets Nest Hornets

In the honeycombs of the nest whitish maturing larvae of hornets are visible.

The hornet larva develops in about 4 weeks. Adult wasps feed it with caught insects, from which only the softest and oily tissues are selected for the younger generation.

On the photo - hornet larvae in honeycombs:

Hornet larvae are in the comb, where adult insects bring food to them.

At the end of summer, females and males capable of breeding begin to appear in the nest instead of working hornets (all working individuals are barren females). At this time, the uterus may even be driven out of the nest or killed, since, due to exhaustion, it is no longer able to lay enough eggs.Sexual mature hornets mate, after which females scatter in search of shelters for wintering in order to establish their families with the onset of spring, and the males soon die.

A very interesting fact worth noting is that for the female, the future founder of a new family, one mating at the end of the season is enough to lay eggs all her life.

There is another curious feature: in some tropical species of hornet, one of the young females is able to take the place of the mother and continue the development of the family.


How dangerous are the hornets

The poison of the hornet is considered quite dangerous, but still not the strongest among the toxins of all insects in general. The main features of a hornet bite are an allergic reaction, manifested in a person after a sting, and a large amount of poison introduced into the body. It is precisely serious doses of poison that cause such serious consequences, even though its toxicity is generally lower than, for example, the toxicity of bee venom.

Hornet venom is very dangerous, although it is considered less toxic than bee venom

If a stung person is not hypersensitive to insect poisons, then a hornet bite will cause him only pain, swelling and inflammation,which will be held in a few days.

Another thing is when a person’s immunity cannot cope with the toxin in the body. In this case, the hornet venom causes the strongest allergic reaction, manifested by dizziness, increased heart rate, fever, angioedema, pain and even anaphylactic shock.

Toxins in the composition of the poison of the hornet can cause a serious allergic reaction

It should be noted that from a bite to a bite, the body's sensitivity to poison really increases, and therefore, if it does exist, the rule of 9 bites, which was mentioned above, is quite able to work.


“I have some instinctive fear of hornets after I was bitten by a hornet when I was a child. I have so spread everything that both eyes are sore and the mouth does not open at all. She barely breathed. They took me to the doctor, made injections, only because everything went without consequences. ”

Yana, Nizhny Novgorod


How to deal with hornets

Fighting hornets is justified only when they threaten the apiary or settle in the center of the residential area, where they interfere with the work. If the hornets have their nest where they are not disturbed, then they will not interfere with the owners of the site, and even vice versa - they will actively help, destroying many pests in the garden or in the garden.

In nature, hornets perform their useful function by destroying small insects.

In the case when peaceful coexistence is still impossible, several methods fight the hornets:

  • hanging traps with baits, into which insects fall into a trap;
  • directly destroy the nest itself - for example, burn it;
  • Hornet dwelling is treated with strong insecticides, which leads to the death of the whole family.

The first method is the safest for humans, but it does not guarantee complete extermination of insects, i.e. is only a way to deal with them. Completely destroy the nest or poison its inhabitants - it means sure to get rid of them. But do not forget that the relevant work on the extermination must be carried out, following very strict safety regulations.

In general, it should be remembered that due to the active, sometimes just mindless extermination, the number of hornets in many regions of our country is drastically reduced. Today, even an ordinary hornet is listed in some regional Red Books, therefore, if there is an opportunity to get along with these insects, it is better not to touch them, to save their lives.And they, in turn, will do everything possible to destroy as many pests as possible in your garden.


Interesting video about the danger of the neighborhood with the hornet's nest


A giant Asian hornet against a scorpion - who wins?


Bees protect their hive from the hornet invasion


To the entry "Photos of hornets and a description of the interesting features of their life" 4 comments
  1. Varya:

    I really liked the article, did not expect that the hornet, it turns out, is so big.

  2. Leongin:

    Very good article, thanks.

  3. Marina:

    We have hornets in the attic have built a nest. We don’t touch them and they don’t touch us. We are waiting for autumn, because we read that in the fall they will perish themselves. Only one is unpleasant. When the larvae hatch, their shell starts to rot. The smell of rotten cabbage. Very unpleasant.

  4. Irina:

    A few years ago, in the forest in the garden, I saw a very large hornet. Grieve, but it was more than 10 cm. Our house is sheathed with narrow boards 10 cm wide, so, the hornet sat across this plank and was longer than the width of the board. At first, relatives laughed at me, they said that fear had large eyes, although I had not determined the size of the insect by eye, but in comparison with the width of the board. And after some time on TV they told that in some areas huge hornets appeared, more than 10 cm. When it took off, it looked like a heavy laden plane and flew very low above the ground.

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