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Giant hornets: about their way of life and danger to humans

Азиатский шершень не только имеет гигантские размеры, но и очень опасен для человека.

The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet in the world. If he sits on his hand, his wings completely cover the palm, and the distance from the head to the end of the abdomen corresponds to the length of the little finger of an adult. It is not surprising that in Japan this ossu is called a "bee-sparrow": during the flight the insect is very like a small bird.

Во время полета гигантский азиатский шершень может напоминать мелкую птицу.

One can say with certainty that there is a relationship between the size of this giant's body and the severity of the consequences from the encounter with him: how big the largest hornet is, so he is dangerous. From his bites, even a person who does not differ in sensitivity to the poison of insects may well die. Therefore entomologists rightfully consider the giant hornet to be one of the most dangerous insects in the world.

On a note

According to statistics, only in Japan, as a result of the bites of giant hornets , 40 to 50 people die every year. Similar data are given for the individual districts of China, where relevant records are maintained. In Japan, even sharks are not the cause of death of so many people.

Among other things, a huge hornet is a real scourge of many beekeeping farms. It is necessary to fight with extreme caution because of the serious danger of being stung.

Азиатские шершни представляют прямую угрозу пчеловодческим хозяйствам

The relationship of a large hornet to a man has never been simple, and an increased interest in him is often caused by a simple desire to tickle his nerves. Well, let's tickle ...

How does one of the largest os?

Giant hornets are large insects with a characteristic for all oc. Appearance. They systematically belong to the family of Wasps, which also includes all known and widely spread paper wasps throughout the world.

На фотографии показано гнездо обычных бумажных ос

In the science of the largest hornet called Vespa Mandarinia , and this species is divided into several subspecies, differing from each other with some anatomical features and habitats.

So, for example, the well-known subspecies of Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica - its Latin name) inhabits only the Japanese islands, the Kuriles and the south of Sakhalin. Outwardly, it is difficult to distinguish it from a representative of the main species, but it is impossible to meet this insect on the mainland - it is endemic.

Огромного японского шершня Vespa mandarinia japonica не встретишь на материке

The body length of this hornet is 4.5-5 cm, but in some populations it is sometimes possible to meet especially large individuals - up to 5.5 cm. Within the family its members differ little in size: the uterus and the hornets are approximately the same.

Длина тела гигантского шершня может достигать 6 см

The largest hornet can boast of its wingspan, up to 7 cm. At the same time, the color of the giant hornet is quite simple and is characteristic of all wasps: a yellow body striated by transverse black bands, a brown abdominal base, a black head and a yellow head.

Окраска гигантского шершня характерна для всех ос

But a very interesting and exceptional feature of these insects is that the largest hornets in the world have three extra eyes between the two main ones. On closer examination, it may even seem that this is not an insect, but a small robot, since five eyes are an extremely unusual sight for a human.

Below is a photo of the largest hornet. On his head, additional eyes are clearly visible:

Интересной особенностью гигантского азиатского шершня являются три дополнительных глаза на голове

It is interesting

Hornet is easy to confuse with the cuttings. These are large wasps, leading a single way of life. Representatives of the largest species of scoliosa exceed the size of even the huge Asian hornets and reach a length of 6 cm. The simplest difference between the scoliosis and hornets is their coloration. The former have usually black body color, rarely - with metallic blue tint, and the latter never black.

Хотя сколии и похожи окраской на шершней, но все-таки имеют ряд существенных отличий

The Danger of a Giant Hornet

Giant hornets are extremely dangerous. Impressive sizes allow these insects to have a long - up to 6 mm - sting, due to which for one bite they are able to inject into the wound a much larger dose of poison than ordinary hornets.

Азиатские шершни гораздо более опасны для человека, чем их европейские сородичи

In addition, an angry hornet, an angry or protecting nest, can launch its sting several times in one attack, and as a result such repeated stinging becomes equivalent to the bites of its 5-6 European relatives.

На фотографии показано жало шершня

The poison of the giant hornet causes acute pulsating pain and leads to an almost instantaneous appearance of edema followed by inflammation of the tissues. In parallel, the main symptoms of the victim may appear headaches and shortness of breath, as well as rapid heart rate.

Действие яда этого насекомого может приводить к мгновенному анафилактическому шоку


"The tiger-bee bit me when I was working on the farm. The bite was on the leg, under the knee. At first I was afraid that it was some kind of snake, because it was very painful, but then I saw the bee, and immediately fell into the water. My leg swelled quickly, and I could not bend it, but the pain was worse. I literally sat and screamed because I could not help it anymore. Other workers helped me get on the motorcycle, and the chief took me to the hospital. At the site of the bite, there was already a huge hematoma, and I was told that if I delayed, I might lose my leg. Only in the hospital I was given an injection, from which the pain just passed. Two days after that, I had a lot of fever and fever. "

Vaghar Msahari, Balangir

Such a horrendous pain syndrome is explained by the fact that the largest hornets possess the so-called mandorotoxin, a powerful poison that acts on the nervous system and contributes to the appearance of additional symptoms spread throughout the body. Nevertheless, the most dangerous thing in the bite of a giant hornet is not even an infernal pain, but the next allergic reaction.

In the poison itself contains a large amount of histamine - a substance responsible for the rapid development of allergies. In addition, components that are part of the hornet's poison, stimulate the release of its own histamine tissue cells, which directly underwent stinging and began to swell.

Мандоротоксин, входящий в яд азиатского шершня, вызывает быстрый отек тканей

The standard response of the human body to the bite of the giant hornet is extensive inflammation, redness and hardening of the tissues, enlarged lymph nodes and fever. If the victim is particularly sensitive to the poisons of insects, after the bite of the world's largest hornet, he may develop anaphylactic shock.

In this life-threatening situation, the countdown is not on the clock, but for a few minutes. If the victim is not delivered in time to the hospital, the likelihood of a fatal outcome is very high.


"Several times a year, local residents who suffered from the bites of Vespa Mandarinia come to our hospital. This year there were already two, last year - four people. One of the four died, as the hornets bitten his neck, and because of the swelling he could not breathe. He was brought to the hospital already in a state of clinical death, and we could not start the work of the heart after asphyxiation. "

That Nga, Maoming

The way of life and habitats of giant hornets

The largest hornets lead the same lifestyle as their other relatives. They dwell mainly in the forests, they keep close enough to the sources of water. For reproduction, the female begins to build a nest in the first honeycomb of which lays eggs, and then grows the hornets that have emerged from them.

Гнездо шершней

After her duties are reduced only to the continuous laying of eggs, and all the work in the nest fall on the shoulders of workers.

Their nests hornets are built from the young bark of trees, which, chewing, turn into a parchment-like mass.

Для строительства гнезда шершни используют пережеванную кору деревьев

Outwardly, the nest resembles a huge light-gray fruit, whose height can reach 70-80 cm, and the width - up to half a meter. Hornets can place their homes as openly, hanging them to the branches of trees, and hide from prying eyes in hollows, caves and burrows.

Гнезда гигантского азиатского шершня могут располагаться прямо на дереве

Once a year, a large number of females and males appear in the nest. In conditions of severe overpopulation, they fly out of the nest, swarm and mate. After that, the females go to look for places for new, already their own, nests, and the males die.

A little about predatory habits

Like all other hornets, Asian giants are active predators. They eat and feed their offspring mainly animal food, most often - other arthropods. Do not disdain these huge predators and their relatives, which have a more modest size.

Азиатские шершни - активные хищники

The status of "the biggest hornet in the world" this insect justifies completely: attacks on the nests of other, smaller species of hornets, are very common. In this case, the giants completely ruin the dwellings of their relatives and destroy all workers and larvae.

Especially often giant hornets attack bees, hunting not only on the hosts themselves, but also on their honey (adult hornets are very fond of sweet). 30-40 hornets can in a few hours completely exterminate a bee family of 20-30 thousand bees.

Азиатские шершни являются для пчел действительно опасными врагами

Apparently, the forces with such an attack are unequal, so beekeepers in China and Japan are very active in destroying the nests of giant hornets and are trying their best to scare them away from apiaries.

What to do if stung by a giant hornet

The largest hornet in the world can easily meet you on vacation in China, Nepal, India, Malaysia or Japan. It is worth noting that, without leaving your country, you can also come across a giant hornet: it inhabits Primorye in sufficient quantities.

There is one recommendation that allows you to remain unharmed when meeting a huge insect: do not make sudden movements and wave your hands. In relation to man, the giant hornet is peace-loving and will never attack the first without special reason.

В основном азиатский шершень довольно миролюбив к человеку и не проявляет агрессии первым

Usually, the reason for the attack is an attempt by a person to catch an insect or take a picture of it near, and it's not at all surprising if the hornet attacks when trying to "examine" its nest.

In order to avoid various unpleasant consequences, you just need to move away from the place where the hornet was seen - this will be the best option.

Nevertheless, let's define an algorithm for helping the victim, if the bite still occurred.

  1. It should immediately attach to the place of the defeat of cold, and preferably - moist sugar. This will slow the spread of poison in the tissues.
  2. If possible, you need to do as soon as possible a stung injection of an antihistamine - Suprastin or Diphenhydramine (the optimal injection will be adrenaline).
  3. After this, the person should be laid so that his head is not elevated. Do not forget all the time to carefully monitor the appearance of symptoms of an allergic reaction!
  4. With the rapid spread of edema, the appearance of asthmatic breathing, increased temperature, the victim should immediately be taken to the hospital, if necessary making artificial respiration along the way.

In most cases, the bites of giant hornets happen yet because of a person's imprudence. With reasonable behavior and due observance, this large insect can always be noticed earlier than it feels danger, and retire. This will be the optimal outcome of meeting an intelligent person with the largest hornet in the world.

If you decide to deal with hornets or wasps yourself, then we recommend using only proven in practice tools that have shown their high efficiency:

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