Asian Giant Hornet

Asian giant hornet or yak-killer hornet


He doesn’t like the human presence, it prefers to stay in low hills and lowlands forests.

Where to find

Asian giant hornet is present in many regions of south-east Asia. From the far east of Russia to China, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and finally Japan where is more present in the mountains area.


Asian giant hornet is the biggest hornet in the world. It is 5 cm in length and the open wings are 7.5 cm width.

There is a difference between Queen and workers, the queen can be over than 5 cm while workers are generally less.

The sting can be up to 1 cm and is used to inject a big quantity of venom.


Asian giant hornet
By KENPEI – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The life of this insect is a little bit complex and the length depends on the gender and other factors. Basically, the queen starts the construction of the nest in June, in July the workers will birth. During all the summer the queen continuous to lay the eggs and the workers to find the food.

In September will birth the male specimens and in October the new queens. After that, the queen will die and the future of the species will be in the hands of the newborns.

The poison of the Asian giant hornet is strong and one of his characteristics is to destroy the textiles. It contains a neurotoxin and the quantity injected is big so who is affected by this poisoning is at risk of anaphylactic shock. The consequences are at least very painful and disabling.

In case of multiple attacks the problem becomes serious, more punctures can kill a man without doubts.  Every year are dozens of people killed by this hornet. And fortunately, it prevents the inhabited areas.

This behavior is caused by the character of this hornet. When the nest is in danger it attacks. Observations established that it begins the attack when the danger arrives at ten meters from the nest.

A curiosity: the nest of Asian giant hornet is 80% inside the ground. It likes to use abandoned burrows.

Major risk

There is not a very big risk at this time. The range is usually far from inhabited centers and in remote areas. So there is not a big interaction with human activity.

Asian giant hornet

Scientific Name: Vespa mandarinia
English name: Asian giant hornet or yak-killer hornet
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Vespidae
Link to Red List page:

IUCN red list classification as Least Concern

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