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Asian hornets seen for first time in Japan

26 Comments

Asian hornets, which have caused a lot of damage to the ecosystems in South Korea and Europe, have been observed in Japan for the first time.

Local nature lovers and a team led by Kyushu University Associate Prof Takatoshi Ueno said Monday they had seen the hornets on Tsushima island in Nagasaki Prefecture, NHK reported.

Asian hornets are not only very aggressive and can seriously harm humans, they are also capable of destroying existing ecosystems as they eat other insects, experts say.

Ueno told reporters the Asian hornets have a high reproductive ability and if they reach the mainland, "they will spread before you know it." He called for precautionary action to exterminate them.

Asian hornets are the biggest species of hornets, growing up to three centimeters. They persistently track down and attack anything or anyone disturbing their nests.

Ueno said the hornets most likely arrived on Tsushima aboard cargo ships from South Korea.

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26 Comments
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What species is being talked about here?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This is a total disaster! These invasive species eat the japanese honeybees and their european counterpart. Plus, they love climate change and can multiply fast. Our food is at risk too. If this is neglected, Japan could face an economic collapse. Why South Korea has failed to control the pest?

-3 ( +4 / -8 )

Huh? This article makes no sense. They must not be referring to Suzumebachi. Unless its just a hit piece to blame ecosystem failures on a hornet.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

And if it's really the Asian giant hornet as is implied, how are they any more of a threat than suzumebachi, which is also an Asian giant hornet (subspecies of Vespa mandarinia)?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

According to Wikipedia, the Japanese suzemebachi is a subspecies of the Asian giant hornet. Read a NatGeo article that said these nasty wasps have killed 42 people in northeast China. Like the suzumebachi, their favorite snack is entire hives of honeybees, which just a few can decimate in short order. Japanese honeybees have developed specialized defenses against them (they swarm the scout wasps, buzz violently, and literally cook them alive) but European honeybees are essentially defenseless.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I got stung by a suzumebachi a couple years ago. Extremely painful.

3 ( +3 / -1 )

titaniumdioxideMAR. 12, 2014 - 07:53AM JST ...Plus, they love climate change

What does that even mean?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My god! Not only the Koreans, even the Korean hornets are also invading Japan!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I've seen photos of the ones in China -- they look like wasps on steroids. You need a shotgun to take one down...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This is not the native Japanese hornet. It is a completely different species, which is much more aggressive. So now, there are two species of potentially deadly wasps to watch out for. Oh joy!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

We're gonna need MUCH bigger flyswatters (and possibly helmets). The photos of these beasts are frightening.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bilderberg,

Make sure you don't get stung again as the poison stays in you & if you get stung again, double whammy & can prove deadly

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kurumazaka, the japanese bees' defense is not 100% effective. It can prevent one, two or three wasps from reporting the information on the honeybees' whereabouts but can't handle more wasps. The j-honeybees also are low in crop yield compared to the european bees that's why the european ones are more likely to be affected since they're pretty defenseless.

psychopathsareincontrol, Japan is expected to experience elnino this year. Those wasp are not going to miss this hot opportunity. They love the heat.

GW, yes. Don't get stung twice or you'll be sorry. Plus if you're alergic to the venom, your chances of dying from being stung by the wasp for the first time is high if not treated immediately.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is not the native Japanese hornet. It is a completely different species, which is much more aggressive.

So...what species? There's an Asian hornet species already in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Make sure you don't get stung again as the poison stays in you & if you get stung again, double whammy & can prove deadly

A second, worse reaction is only a potential worry for people who are allergic but isn't because the venom "stays in you" (it's because your immune system responds more aggressively).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nessie, please read Kurumazaka's post. We're talking about the father of the japanese hornet, the Asian hornet. This is a potential threat to Japan's econmy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think the a good question is how the two types of wasps will react to each other? Since they're the same species (different subspecies) can they interbreed? How likely are they to fight with each other for territory? Maybe they'll cause enough trouble for each other that it'll even out? crosses fingers

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wasps are bad enough, but these things are terrifying!

http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/59/590x/156720700-379227.jpg

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thunderbird2, what are those? Compare it to the giant asian wasp here, terrifying:

http://gawker.com/this-hornet-will-be-the-last-thing-you-see-before-you-d-1428724767

The link says, they spoted some in Illinois too. GMO will have to compete with the beast for bad reputation. People will soon worry more on being stung than eating genetically modified crops.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That insect in my link is an Asian Hornet found in the UK... specifically southern England. Apparently with the hotter summers and milder winters these things are invading and killing bees.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nessie, please read Kurumazaka's post. We're talking about the father of the japanese hornet, the Asian hornet.

The Japanese hornet is the same species: Vespa mandarinia var. japonica. The headline is misleading.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The article seems to be misleading, according to the following link we're talking about "wasps". http://www.sankeibiz.jp/compliance/news/140310/cpc1403101712001-n1.htm ツマアカスズメバチis "Asian predatory wasp" according to wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_predatory_wasp

In summer we often see oosuzumebachi behind the house, near a path used to go the closest kindergarten. Not very reassuring...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ueno said the hornets most likely arrived on Tsushima aboard cargo ships from South Korea

Wow!! Blame the Martians too!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This article............ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_giant_hornet

makes it clear that they are essentially the same thing, and are in fact most commonly found in Japan. We find them nesting in our roof each year, for example.

The larger hornet is the O-suzume-bachi, body length 2 inches, wing span 3 inches, sting 1/4 inch long. Suzume-bachi (sparrow wasps) and O-suzume-bachi (Greater sparrow wasps) kill many people every year in Japan. They do not like school children laughing and screaming nearby and often attack en masse, causing sting injuries, and other general injuries as kids jump off hill paths etc., trying to escape.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember seeing giant hornets in Shizuoka as a kid. Not once did I have a run-in with one.

While the Japanese subspecies is probably less aggressive it is not an entirely different species from the Asian hornets.

Maybe the mainland Asian hornets are more aggressive toward humans there because the humans there are less respectful of the hornets and their nests. Or maybe something on the mainland makes everyone more aggressive!

The japanese honeybees are some smart little critters. That they can cook their attacker with vibrational heat is nature and evolution on display.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So it is is basically the same species, but the Chinese variety is more aggressive? (Somehow I am not surprised.)

So I guess that means Japan can look forward to a similar situation like the "africanized honeybees" once the two groups start interbreeding...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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