Woo-hoo!! Finally got a use for my Taurus Judge!
Seems like Asia / China ... has been sending us all kinds of nice stuff .Gary, Wikipedia says this about their native lands. "It is native to temperate and tropical East Asia, South Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia, and parts of the Russian Far East." Murder hornet is a nickname, but their informal name is actually Asian giant hornet, with the Latin species name Vespa mandarinia.
Your link doesn't question the identification of the species. It only says the WA and Vancouver Island examples were not genetic matches, so not from the same hive.Pepperjd, are you absolutely sure? If so, you will likely make news because so far, the murder hornets are only being reported in western Washington and Vancouver British Columbia. There is another species similar to it in the US, but it's noticeably smaller while still being significantly larger than regular hornets. It's likely what you have in N/S Carolina.
But this just in: there's news now emerging that the experts who did the identification of the first-found murder hornets mis-identified them, and that they're not MH's at all, but the larger native. This was learned by sending the specimens to true experts. I won't draw any conclusions yet -- we all know that news stories can change by the day -- but will continue to watch this and hope for the best.
I understand well from first hand experience how this can happen. During my grad studies, I supported myself (during one phase) as a graduate assistant working in the university insect museum -- think tens of thousands of insects on pins (mostly) or in vials of alcohol -- that had been ID'ed down to at least genus and sometimes to species. I was told by my supervisor to pick a group -- I chose solitary bees -- and work on identifying the newer ones that were preserved but not ID'ed below family name. I spent a couple of years trying to ID bees to the species level. Rarely did I succeed, even with very significant training in taxonomy and identification procedures, and often had to ship them off to an expert, mostly in the Smithsonian.
It's hard enough for even trained entomologist to ID to family or genus. But to get the species right often (usually?) requires an expert in that particular family or genus. It's very tedious work, but important in cases like this.
Your link doesn't question the identification of the species. It only says the WA and Vancouver Island examples were not genetic matches, so not from the same hive.
Anne LeBrun, the national policy manager for honeybee and pollinator pest programs in the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the department confirmed one identification of the Asian giant hornet specimen and was working with the Washington State Department of Agriculture "to determine how far this pest has spread."
No idea if the genetic divergence between the two sets is normal intraspecies variation, but it is at least evidence that it isn't spread of a colony to new territory. A few solitary hornets is a lot less of a concern than an actual nesting colony spawning new colonies.Good point. I stand corrected. But -- hypothesis -- the genetic divergence in samples might be caused by more than different hives. (? -- It's late on Friday night, I'm eating fresh, homemade cornbread -- finally nailed the recipe with duck fat and butter -- and I'm heading to Netflix next. Uhtred of Bebbenborough could take care of this issue quickly.)
As usual. It's nothing more than more news media hype. They were there in Asia when I was there back in the 70's. NOT a big deal then.My son was based near Tokyo (Air Force) almost ten years ago. All the hype created by our media here pisses him off. They were over there all along, and you just deal with them as we do any bee. Large...yes. Hurt...sure. But invasive?......what insect is not, given free reign?