The assassin

jriepe

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This past Fall while visiting my parents I took these pictures through their kitchen window. Don't know what this insect is called but the first image is of him sitting on the hummingbird feeder. The second image is of him attacking a yellow jacket. He bit the yellow jacket in half and dropped it to the ground.

Jerry

BeeonFeeder017copy.jpg


BeeonFeeder011_filteredcopy.jpg
 

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Looks very much like a hornet - you can normally tell them from many other bugs because they make a darned powerful thrumming buzz when flying. They also pack a pretty strong sting in them as well.

Nice profile shot and also good hunting shot as well! Background is a little distracting (what with being the red feeder) but considering that you couldn't change it well done.
 

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In the first photo, I just thought..."hmmm, yeah, interesting stinging insect of some sort. Hornet maybe."

In the second photo, I thought, "HOLY MOLY!!! Look at how tiny that yellow jacket looks compared to that thing!!" I think I've shot some birds lately that weren't that big! :lol:
 

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How big was it? I was tempted to say it might be a cicada killer but comparison makes me think the thorax is not correct.

Edit: Further research makes me think it's Vespa crabro - the European Hornet.
 
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jriepe

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Infinite,

Cicada killer was my first thought also but I looked that up and they look more like wasps than bees. To me it looks somewhat like a cross between a wasp and bee. I just remembered something. I didn't shoot this through their window. I raised the window to get a good shot and told my sister to stand guard to be sure none of these flew into the house while I got set up. Her reply was "Yeah, Right!" I Think she thought I was nuts.:lol: Oh yeah you asked the size of it and I can't give you a measurement but you can judge somewhat by comparing it to the size of the yellow jacket. I would say about the size of a bumblebee or maybe a bit bigger.

Jerry
 
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jriepe

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For reference here's a Hornet from the UK
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4133/4979085939_632174e313_z.jpg
looks pretty much identical and if the European Hornet has made it over to the USA that would explain the similarities.

Overread,

After some research I do believe you are right that this is a type of hornet. Another type of hornet builds large nests usually hanging from a tree limb. I don't have any close ups of them but I do have this. I run across these nests in the forest preserves and they don't seem to be that aggressive but their body language the last time I shot these gave me pause.

Jerry

FH028copy.jpg
 
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jriepe

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Thanks Kurt. And Sharon sorry I didn't acknowledge your comment earlier but thanks for commenting. I'm quite sure this hornet or whatever it is could drive a hummingbird away from the feeder.

Jerry
 

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I do believe, from the quick readig that I did, that the European hornet has been introduced to the U.S. so it seems likely that's what it is. Nice captures!
 
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jriepe

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I do believe, from the quick readig that I did, that the European hornet has been introduced to the U.S. so it seems likely that's what it is. Nice captures!

Thanks. I don't do a lot of reading and research on nature's critters so I'm certainly not very knowledgeable in that area. Come to think of it I don"t know of ANY area I'm very knowledgeable in. :lol:

Jerry
 

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Two super shots. Picture #2 really is something else. That's one big Hornet.
 

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Yeah, yellow jackets think they are bad…Until a hornet enters the room. Good shots.
 
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jriepe

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Thanks Joel and Thunder.

Jerry
 

robolepa

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For reference here's a Hornet from the UK
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4133/4979085939_632174e313_z.jpg
looks pretty much identical and if the European Hornet has made it over to the USA that would explain the similarities.

Overread,

After some research I do believe you are right that this is a type of hornet. Another type of hornet builds large nests usually hanging from a tree limb. I don't have any close ups of them but I do have this. I run across these nests in the forest preserves and they don't seem to be that aggressive but their body language the last time I shot these gave me pause.

Jerry

FH028copy.jpg
jriepe,

I had one of those nests right in a tree right outside my dining room window. On one pre-dawn morning, I was eating breakfast, and I could hear something hitting the window. It started out slow - like popcorn beginning to pop - and quickly escalated. The light in the dining room must have woken up the nest, because there were about 300 of them crawling on the dining room window, trying to get at me. It still gives me the creeps when I think about it.
 

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