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European Hornets or giant hornet is an introduced species first reported in the United States in 1840 in New York. The European hornet is the only true hornet in North America and is large and will aggressively defend their nests.
- Color: Head and thorax are dark brown with yellow markings on abdomen
- Legs: 6
- Shape: Segmented; oval
- Size: Adult 15/16" – 1 1/2" long
- Antennae: Yes
- Region: Throughout the U.S.
- Habits: European hornets rarely build nests that are free hanging or in unprotected areas, paper nests are constructed in hollow tree trunks, buildings and occasionally in the ground or in the aerial environment.
- Habitat: These hornets chew the bark off living plants, such as lilacs, to make paper for its nest and is attracted to ripening fruit, meat and sweets. They also hunt other insects, primarily flies but also other species including smaller wasps and bees.
- Threats: These large hornets aggressively defend their nests, and can sting multiple times. People allergic to insect stings will have a more severe reaction than those less sensitive. The sting can be extremely painful.