The hornet is black, or the hornet of Dybowski (Vespa dybowskii), is one of the rarest hornets in our country. The number of this species in our territories is so small that it, for example, is listed in the regional Red Data Book of the Chita Region. In Transbaikalia this insect is occasionally found in Primorye and the Amur Region. The main habitat of black hornet is located in China, India, Burma, Thailand, Japan and Korea.
It is noteworthy that if we consider all the areas of habitat of this species as a whole, then one can not unequivocally state its small number. This fact is explained by the fact that the rarity of meetings with insects does not quite accurately reflect its actual prevalence.
Within the range as a whole, the black hornet is an insect that does not disappear at all. Just because of some peculiarities of their biology, these hornets, in principle, never and never are numerous - even in the main habitats. Nevertheless, this species has a stable population.
What does a black hornet look like?
Purely externally, hornet black differs from the common hornet common in our country only completely black belly. If you compare these insects, for example, from photographs, then you will not find a difference in other coloring elements: the first type of cephalothorax will literally exactly repeat the pattern on the body of the second, well known to many summer residents of the European part of Russia.
In the photo there is a black hornet in its natural habitat:
And it looks like an ordinary hornet:
It should be noted that the entomologist can find one more, albeit not so expressive, difference between these insects: the black hornet, unlike the ordinary one, has brownish wings, which, however, do not strongly strike the background of the black abdomen:
Outstanding sizes these insects do not possess - they have quite average figures by gender. Female reaches a length of 28-31 mm, working individuals - 18-23 mm, and males - 22-25 mm. Nevertheless, due to the monotonous coloring, the body of insects of this species seems more slender and elongated in length than in typical "striped" relatives.
It is interesting that, because of the characteristic coloration of black hornets, they are often mistaken for other insects. This is especially true for the southern regions of our country, where abundant scygy wasps are found. Let's take a closer look at this curious topic.
With whom you can confuse the black hornet?
Indeed, outwardly the spilas strongly resemble the hornet, because both belong to the same family and have therefore a characteristic similar coloring. But unlike ordinary wasps or, for example, bumblebees, scolias, as well as hornets, can reach impressive sizes.
Thus, the average body length of female scoliosis is 45 mm, but in some very large species these indices are even greater - up to 60 mm. Thus, in determining the insects to focus only on the size of their body is not worth it.
The main difference between scoliosis and common hornet is its dark color. But how, then, to distinguish between the spiny and the black hornet? Scientists-entomologists know that the usual giant scoliosis has two transverse orange bands on the black abdomen, but this is not known to simple eyewitnesses, so they are more likely to accept it for a black hornet.
For clarity and a better understanding of the issue, let's turn to the photographs of all the listed insects.
On the first photo there is a black hornet:
Here is an ordinary hornet:
And in this photo there is a giant chamois:
So, to distinguish a black hornet from a cramp is not so difficult, you just have to carefully consider their abdomen. The first insect has no stains and stripes, the second is decorated with yellow dressings.
In addition, the black hornet does not occur west of Lake Baikal, so all meetings with a large black beetle in the European part of Russia are always encounters with the scoliosis.
It is interesting
Scoliosis - insects are not social. Unlike hornets, they do not have nests, they do not live in families. Adult individuals usually feed on flowers, which can not be said about their larvae. Females for the reproduction of the genus are found under the ground and stones of the larvae of large beetles, paralyze them with their poison and lay them on the body of the egg. Thus, the larvae of the scoliosis feed on living, but immobilized, beetle larvae. Thanks to this source of food, larvae pupate, winter under the ground, and the next year they get out of the cocoon, go to the surface of the earth and fly away.
There are cases when scolias were taken even for bumblebees, but such a mistake could only be made by people very far from entomology, because the difference between these insects, in spite of their belonging to the same family, is generally quite large. So, the spiny has a typical aspen waist and slender belly, the bumblebee, on the contrary, is dense and very wide.
A pair of bumblebee black horns is as distinctive as a bumblebee and a bee - to confuse them, once seeing it in the photo, it will be very difficult.
The only nesting parasite among the brethren
The most important and especially interesting feature, which black hornets differ from other hornets - is the image of their life. Of all 23 species of their fellow blacks - the only nesting parasite.
A young female at the end of summer finds a fairly large nest of ordinary or medium-sized Japanese hornets , penetrates into it and kills the uterus.
After this, the female invader, with the help of special pheromones, disguises itself as members of the family, whose individuals, guided by the smell, immediately recognize her as their queen. Despite the fact that the new inhabitant of the nest belongs to a completely different species, confused by its odor, working individuals begin to serve the new uterus with the same zeal.
After the capture of the nest, the female of the black hornet immediately begins to lay off pre-fertilized eggs, from which then the reproductive individuals are then withdrawn. Thus, during the entire development of the larvae of one species, the labored individuals of the other are deceived.
When the number of females and males becomes sufficient, they leave the nest and mate. Males soon die, and females find places for wintering or, if it happens in the tropics, new families for parasitism.
In the photo - a black hornet on the bark of a tree:
It should be noted that the capture of the nest, despite the simple algorithm, is given to females of the black hornet is not easy. The overwhelming majority of them die from the "hands" of workers who zealously defend their homes.
Until the murder of the old uterus, a new one in the family will never be recognized. However, those rare lucky ones who manage to win a nest, provide the appearance of so many young individuals, which more than covers the death of less fortunate sisters.
It is clear that single females looking for a nest do not come across as often as, say, numerous working individuals of a large family. This is why even in their habitats, black hornets, unlike hornets of other species, are not considered widespread.
In exceptional cases, these insects can organize their own nests and live in families. Such behavior is extremely rare in them and is due primarily to the fact that in some places of the range of hornets other small species may not be at all. In this case, the search for an object for parasitization will definitely end in failure, and even the probable presence of larger species on the territory of hornets will not save the situation: black relatives can not parasitize on relatives like giant hornets .
How dangerous are black hornets?
If we talk about the attacks of a black hornet on a man, then we can say that the insect stings it much more painfully than the usual hornet of an ordinary hornet. But at the same time, his bite is not so terrible, as, for example, stinging a giant Asian hornet that inhabits roughly the same territories.
The fact that the giant hornet is leading over black in the toxicity issue of poison is an indisputable fact, because this insect is in principle one of the most poisonous insects on Earth. But why, then, having approximately the same size, the other two hornets - black and ordinary - are stung differently?
The point is that to achieve success in capturing the nest, the female of the black hornet with her bite should be able to kill the uterus-mistress. However, theoretically, the old female must be resistant to the poison of the conqueror, because they both belong to the same genus and have similar toxins. Nevertheless, nature, having "taught" black hornets to parasitize, awarded them with a special poison containing additional enzymes and toxins, without which a victory over the old uterus would not be possible.
As for the person, for him the encounter with the black hornet ends in approximately the same way as with any other poisonous insect: first of all, there is a very strong throbbing pain. Immediately after a bite, a progressive inflammation appears on the affected area, the tissues harden, and a strong itch can be felt. In addition, a stung person often achieves heartbeat and dyspnea appears.
If the main symptoms are associated with an allergic reaction, severe pain in the head, swelling of the mucous membranes, and possible development of Quincke edema. Approximately 5-6% of cases after a bite with a black horn come anaphylactic shock, in which the absence of emergency medical care can lead to death.
It is interesting
Bites of scoliosis, in contrast to the bites of black hornets, are of little danger and almost painless. This is explained by the fact that the first insect uses its poison for protection, so its bite should cause a quick and sharp pain. The second uses its toxin to immobilize the victim, and for this reason, out of all possible active ingredients, its poison contains mainly paralytic substances.
The first medical aid for stitching with a black hornet should include all standard actions in such cases, namely:
- to the affected area it is necessary to apply a cold compress as soon as possible;
- to avoid or alleviate a possible allergic reaction, you need to drink Suprastin or another antihistamine and carefully monitor your own condition;
- when there is pain in the head, dizziness, high temperature, it is immediately necessary to call an "ambulance" or to look for any other way to get to the hospital.
Remember - sensitivity to insect venom does not depend on your physical condition in any way.
In conclusion, we can not fail to mention that, like most of its relatives, the black hornet is an insect peace-loving, it will only sting a person in the order of self-defense. If you do not touch this insect, do not try to kill it and do not make sharp movements near the nest, it will never attack first.
At the same time, this hornet is able to render invaluable help on the household plot: it with great pleasure kills various agricultural pests. So take care of rare black hornets, respect their right to exist and use their services for the destruction of harmful insects!