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
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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