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Published on Mar 15, 2006
This giant hornet was my pet for 7 months. Here she climbs onto my fingers and enjoys a snack of honey.
Please note that I have disabled comments because of too many nonsensical or repeated comments. I have been very busy and am not able to respond directly to comments, especially repeated ones. PLEASE READ THE VIDEO DESCRIPTION - everything you need to know is stated here.
This is not a Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) but its closest living relative, Vespa soror (no common name yet, although Indochinese giant hornet might be a suitable one). Previously I misidentified it as a Vespa ducalis, which looks similar but is smaller and more slender in shape. It grows to around the same size as Vespa mandarinia or just slightly smaller. This individual is not a male, as someone claimed, it's a worker. Note the antennae and abdomen - males have an additional segment and a blunt abdomen, and long curved antennae. Their usual lifespan is merely several weeks, which is why I myself was greatly surprised at how long she lived. She isn't flying simply because she's busy eating. I caught her intending just to take some photos, but decided to keep her later. This is not in any way related to the cicada killer, it is a close relative of the European hornet Vespa crabro and the previously mentioned Japanese giant hornet. She isn't stinging me simply because hornets do not attack away from the nest. And yes, I have been stung by this species (but not this individual); it hurts somewhat; swollen hand, stiff fingers, but no lasting effect. Of course, being stung many times can be very dangerous. She died naturally of old age. There is indeed honey on my fingers, that is the only way to lure a hornet onto one's hand as they cannot be "tamed". And for those who commented on my shaky hand, I have all along had somewhat shaky hands due to excessive smoking and drinking of coffee and tea as well as not carrying out proper precautions after physical training in the past.
Note also that this video is only to document how docile they can be away from the nest, and also the size of this magnificent insect.