European Hornet (female)

A European Hornet (Vespa crabro) was spotted at Huntley Meadows Park. “Vespa” is Italian for wasp; “crabro” is Latin for “hornet.” Source Credit: The latter etymology factoid courtesy BugGuide.

A European Hornet (Vespa crabro) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

05 JUL 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | European Hornet (female)

This individual is a female, as indicated by…

the shape of the head, the eyes, and the fact that she is feeding [see “The Backstory,” below]. Drones just sit on the nest, [waiting] for crop-outs (like hand-outs). Source Credit: Margarethe Brummermann, BugGuide Facebook group.

A European Hornet (Vespa crabro) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

05 JUL 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | European Hornet (female)

This female is at least an inch long and scary looking!

Being bigger, she packs more of a sting than the usual yellow jacket, but a single sting is just painful (if you aren’t allergic). But of course, she’s social and close to the nest you can expect an attack of many — that could be dangerous. Source Credit: Margarethe Brummermann, BugGuide Facebook group.

A European Hornet (Vespa crabro) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

05 JUL 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | European Hornet (female)

The Backstory

The hornet spent a lot of time sticking its head in a gooey crevice at the base of a tree, then it would groom for a long time afterward. Rinse and repeat, over and over.

A European Hornet (Vespa crabro) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

05 JUL 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | European Hornet (female)

Many insects crave fermenting substances. I suspect that sap is oozing from a [tree] wound and then turning to alcohol in the Sun. Source Credit: Eric Eaton, BugGuide Facebook group.

A European Hornet (Vespa crabro) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

05 JUL 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | European Hornet (female)

Grooming after feeding…

A European Hornet (Vespa crabro) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

05 JUL 2015 | Huntley Meadows Park | European Hornet (female)

Editor’s Notes: Thanks to Eric Eaton, BugGuide Facebook group member, for identifying the hornet. Both Eric and Margarethe Brummermann provided lots of good hornet knowledge, quoted in this post.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “European Hornet (female)”

  1. Peopoll’s Choice Awards – Top 10 Photos of 2015 | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 05 JUL 2015 | HMP | European Hornet (female) […]

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