Japanese Giant Hornet [Infographic]

Japanese giant hornet infographic

Japan’s Deadliest Animal Unveiled

If I had nominate one aspect of hiking in Japan that I could really do without it would be hornets. In this case not just any garden variety but the humongous Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica). It’s rightly feared by most hikers over here and not just because of its painful sting but a lethal venom has a good chance of triggering anaphylactic shock. Lists of the world’s most dangerous insects regularly rank the Japanese giant hornet in the top three and for good reason, as anywhere in the realm of 30-40 people succumb to its toxin each year. The following infographic provides a rundown on some of its more horrifying attributes.


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  • Wow, thanks for the heads-up. I saw one of those yesterday while preparing lunch on the stairs of 奥多摩仏舎利塔. I kind of figured that messing around with it is probably a bad idea, and we split peacefully, but I’ll keep your information in mind for future encounters.