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Species Vespa crabro - European Hornet

European Hornet - Vespa crabro European Hornet - Vespa crabro Beautiful Bee? - Vespa crabro - male Unknown Wasp/Hornet  - Vespa crabro European Hornet - Vespa crabro - female Vespa germana drone? - Vespa crabro Cicada Killer? - Vespa crabro European Hornet (Vespa crabro)  - Vespa crabro
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Vespoidea (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps and allies)
Family Vespidae (Yellowjackets and Hornets, Paper Wasps; Potter, Mason and Pollen Wasps)
Subfamily Vespinae (Hornets and Yellowjackets)
Genus Vespa
Species crabro (European Hornet)
Other Common Names
Giant Hornet, Frelon (French), Frelon européen (French)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Vespa crabro Linnaeus 1758
Explanation of Names
crabro - Latin for 'hornet' (1)
Size
Queen: 25-35 mm, males and workers are smaller.
Identification
Large, brown with yellow marks.
key to separate this species from other hornets/yellowjackets
Range
TX-GA-NY-MO / Ont. (BG data)
native to Eurasia, V. c. germana introduced to e. N. Amer. (1800s) (2)
first detected in Arkansas in 1999. (Barnes 2004)
Habitat
Woodlands. Paper nest is built in hollow trees, or in human structures such as attics. Adults come to lights.
Food
Predatory on other insects, used to feed young. Also girdle twigs to drink sap.
Life Cycle
Queens emerge from hibernation during the spring, and they search for a suitable location in which to start a new nest. They build the nest with chewed wood pulp, and a few eggs are laid in individual paper cells; these eggs develop into non-reproductive workers. When 5-10 workers have emerged, they take over the care of the nest, and the rest of queen’s life is devoted solely to egg laying. The workers capture insects, bringing them back to the nest to feed the brood. Workers need more high-energy sugary foods such as sap and nectar, and hornet larvae are able to exude a sugary liquid which the workers can feed on.
The nest reaches its peak size towards mid September. At this time the queen lays eggs that develop into males (drones) and new queens, she then dies shortly after. The new queens and males mate during a 'nuptial flight', after which the males die, and the newly mated queens seek out suitable places in which to hibernate; the old nest is never re-used.
Nests and nest building
See Also
Cicada Killer, a common unrelated wasp of similar size
Internet References
(3)
Fact sheet - Jeffrey K. Barnes, Univ. Ark. Arthropod Museum, 2004
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
3.Identification Atlas of the Vespidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata) of the Northeastern Nearctic Region
Matthias Buck, Stephen A. Marshall, and David K. B. Cheung. 2008. Biological Survey of Canada [Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification].