Giant Asian Hornet by Ken _Gilliland ()
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The Giant Asian Hornet was renamed the "Murder Hornet" by the press after it was discovered in the Pacific Northwest in 2019. It is native to temperate and tropical East Asia, South Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia, and parts of the Russian Far East. It creates nests by digging or co-opting pre-existing tunnels dug by rodents. It will occupy spaces near rotted pine roots. It feeds primarily on larger insects, colonies of other eusocial insects, tree sap, and honey from honey bee colonies.
In this image, an Asian Hornet scout discovers a Blue Orchard Bee "Bee condo" and prepares to signal an attack.
It is the only species of social wasp known to apply a scent to direct its colony to a food source. The hornet secretes the chemical from the sixth sternal gland, also known as the van der Vecht's gland. This behavior is observed during autumnal raids after the hornets begin hunting in groups instead of individually. The ability to apply scents may have arisen because the Asian giant hornet relies heavily on honey bee colonies as its main food source. A single hornet is unable to take on an entire colony of honey bees because species such as Apis cerana have a well-organized defense mechanism: the honey bees swarm one wasp and flutter their wings to heat up the hornet and raise carbon dioxide to a lethal level. So, organized attacks are much more effective and easily devastate a colony of tens of thousands of honey bees.
The reason for the "Murder" moniker is its size and sting lethality. Adults are 45+ mm long (almost 2") and its sting injects an especially potent venom, mandaratoxin. While a single wasp cannot inject a lethal dose, multiple stings can be lethal even to people who are not allergic if the dose is sufficient; but allergy to the venom greatly increases the risk of death. It has an LD50 of 4.0 mg/kg. Besides using their stingers to inject venom, Asian giant hornets are apparently able to spray venom into a person's eyes under certain circumstances.
Rendered without postwork in iray
Image Comments (8)
Flint_Hawk () 11:04AM | Thu, 14 October 2021
Those Murder Hornets are scary! I hope those Blue Orchard Bees will be safe!
An amazingly realistic scene!
contedesfees () 1:49PM | Thu, 14 October 2021
Indeed! A very realistic render.
I'm betting that measures to eradicate this invasive species will be as effective as those applied to the Asian Carp.
mtdana () Online Now! 2:22PM | Thu, 14 October 2021
I can live in peace with the hornet we have, they don't attack. These sound different !!! Excellent work!!!
STEVIEUKWONDER () 12:40PM | Fri, 15 October 2021
Boy this is a sore point right now! lol, We have had TWO wasp nests removed in the last month! Now I got pretty close to one or two but this is as far as I would venture! Fine work!