Do you know the difference between murder hornets and their doppelganger?

That big yellow-and-black insect you saw is probably not a murder hornet, also known as an Asian giant hornet. Asian giant hornets are a potentially invasive species in the Western United States, but they have not been found in New York state and are unlikely to make their way here any time soon, according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Asian giant murder hornet has many look-a-like species, but some of the most common is the European hornet and the Eastern cicada killer.

🐝 The European Hornet

The European Hornet has distinctive teardrop-like markings on its abdomen and is roughly half the size of an Asian giant hornet. They live in colonies of 300+ and may aggressively defend their nests. If you have a nuisance European hornet nest near your home, you're advised to always use professional pest control services to get rid of them.

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

🐝 The Eastern Cicada Killer

The Eastern Cicada Killer can be identified by its large, red eyes and its reddish thorax. They are no danger to humans as they prefer to use their stingers solely on cicadas, and will only sting humans if handled roughly. Cicada killers dig nests in open areas, often with many nests in the same area.

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Report Murder Hornets

If you think you have found an Asian giant hornet in New York, you're asked to review the identification materials to make sure it's actually an Asian Giant Hornet. If you think it is, you're asked to report your sighting online.

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