Vespa simillima

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Vespa simillima
ケブカスズメバチ (15357627266).jpg
Vespa simillima simillima
Vespa simillima xanthoptera 01-2.jpg
V. s. xanthoptera
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Vespidae
Genus: Vespa
Species: V. simillima
Binomial name
Vespa simillima
Smith, 1868
  • Vespa simillima simillima
  • Vespa simillima xanthoptera
  • Vespa mongolica André 1884
  • Vespa xanthoptera Cameron 1903
  • Vespa micado Cameron 1903
  • Vespa Mongolica var. sexpunctata Pérez 1905
  • Vespa Mongolica var. flavata Pérez 1910

The Vespa simillima, including the subspecies known as the Japanese hornet or Japanese yellow hornet (Vespa simillima xanthoptera) (キイロスズメバチ?), is a common hornet species in the Eastern Hemisphere. V. simillima simillima (Japanese:ケブカスズメバチ, Korean: 털보말벌, "Hairy Wasp") is darker and hairier than V. simillima xanthoptera. V. simillima simillima lives in Hokkaido, Korean Peninsula, Eastern Siberia and China. It should not be confused with the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), whose subspecies V. m. japonica is sometimes referred to as the Japanese giant hornet. In Japan, V. simillima xanthoptera is more common than V. simillima simillima. In Korea, V. simillima xanthoptera only lives in Jejudo.


Due to the great scale of the swarm and aggressiveness of the yellow hornet, predation against yellow hornet by other hornet species are rare. However, along with other insects in Japan, they are prey to the Japanese giant hornet. Since this predator is prey to the much bigger hornet, its nests have been known to be deserted after giant hornet attacks. The yellow hornet only attacks when their chance comes as they outnumber their giant enemy, which attacks alone.

Different type of predator from hornet species for yellow hornet is Vespa dybowskii. Unlike the Japanese giant hornet, predation against yellow hornet of Vespa dybowskii is parasitic. In the early stage of nest, the queen of the Vespa dybowskii tries to attack the queen of other hornets, including yellow hornet and European hornet. If the assault succeeds, it will steal the nest and all of the workers of the former owner become slaves.


Yellow hornet has the greatest scale of the swarm in their nest from all of the hornet species, containing one to two thousands of entities. Although the Japanese yellow hornet is much smaller than the Japanese giant hornet, this hornet can be more dangerous to humans because they will attack people in greater numbers.