The European Hornet (Vespa crabro)

Social hymenopteran species typically communicate with each other through behaviors or pheromones. In the European hornet, a typical alarm dance is performed outside the nest and consists of consistent buzzing, darting in and out of the nest, and attacking or approaching the target of the alarm pheromone. The alarm pheromone is stored in, and secreted from, internal venom sacs. 2-Methyl-3-butene-2-ol is the main pheromone component which causes V. crabro to express this defensive behavior. Other pentenols and pentanols are contained within these venomous sacs, but their primary purpose is likely not to warn fellow hornets that danger is nearby, because these chemicals do not induce alarm behaviour.

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The European hornet (Vespa crabro).

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The European hornet (Vespa crabro): stinger out!

2 Comments on “The European Hornet (Vespa crabro)

  1. Great shots. I think you are very brave to hold one between your fingers! (I assume it is you, can’t imagine you could find a volunteer for that ;))

    • Yes. It is me holding the hornet. This one stayed in one place long enough for me to catch it. Some hornets are slowing through lack of nectar.

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