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As Big As Cicada Killers - Vespa crabro

As Big As Cicada Killers - Vespa crabro
Rockville, Maryland, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
September 2, 2005
Size: 1" - 1.75"
Firstly, I'm no expert at ALL Just curious. These wasps always land on a small tree/shrub (lilac I think) in my yard and appear to be feeding on sap in an area where the bark is gone. I've assumed they were cicada killers, but the images I find on the web tell me it's something else. If somebody told me they were queen yellow jackets, I'd believe them. I can't imagine a queen without hundreds of followers mauling her. Sometimes I see 3 or 4 sharing the same spot. I'd love to know what they are. Did I mention they're HUGE and make me want to scream like a little girl? :-) Luckily, a fly was nearby to show the size of these beasts. Thanks.

European Hornet, Vespo carbo.
European Hornet, Vespo carbo. They may very well be feeding on the sap, but they are known for tearing off the bark to be used for nest material, including that of lilac.

I Never Knew
Wow, thanks for that quick reply. Searching the web shows you are absolutely right. I never knew we had Euro Hornets around here. How far do they travel from the nest in search of food? I want to make sure I don't have another hive to worry about. I already had to do away with a yellow jacket colony in my yard. Not good for the dog or the toddler. Thanks again.

House fly is actually a flesh fly.
Considering that your "house fly" is actually a flesh fly (family Sarcophagidae), and that they are usually at least slightly larger than house flies, it gives a good idea just how big European hornets really are:-)

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