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Thirsty Hornet

Oriental Hornet (Vespa orientalis).

 

kingdom: Animalia, phylum: Arthropoda, subphylum: Hexapoda, class: Insecta, order: Hymenoptera, suborder: Apocrita, family: Vespidae

 

Drinking water. Photographed in Crete, Greece, where they are fairly common.

It's a really big hornet species, the biggest in Crete. It's bigger than a common paper wasp (Polistes dominulus). It measures about 3cm from head to sting. They are notorious for their sting (ouch!) and this is the first time I got so close to one. I've seen them capture honey bees (which are about half the hornet's size).

 

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Taken on September 10, 2006