The World's Largest Killer Wasp Has Been Found In China

No one likes wasps, and for good reason, they can be pretty nasty bastards but just when you thought you were safe, scientists think they have found a new species of 'giant killer' hornet.

Specialists discovered the 'new species' in southern China and it's believed to be the largest in the world.

Great.

Aptly named the Godzilla hornet, it was found near the city of Pu'er in the province of Yunnan and it is thought to be a new subspecies of a deadly killer hornet, which has claimed numerous lives.

It's said to be part of the Vespa mandarinia family, and with a body length of over six centimetres (2.3 inches) and a wingspan close to 10 centimetres (3.9 inches), is the largest type of hornet ever found.

It is far bigger than the Asian giant hornet or the subspecies, the Japanese giant hornet, which have body lengths of 4.5 centimetres (1.77 inches) and 4 centimetres (1.57 inches), respectively.

But don't panic just yet, the giant Godzilla hornet is said to only be found warmer, subtropical regions of eastern and southern Asia.

The Godzilla hornet is believed to be the largest wasp in the world. Credit: Asia Wire
The Godzilla hornet is believed to be the largest wasp in the world. Credit: Asia Wire

After analysing hundreds of specimen, Zhao Li from the Huaxi insect museum in Chengdu said that it is probably a newly-discovered subspecies of the known killer hornets.

But entomologists are carrying out tests to determine whether it is an entirely new species.

This isn't the only huge discovery made by scientists in recent weeks - last month a team of wildlife experts found the world's largest bee.

The massive Wallace's bee was rediscovered on a little-explored Indonesian island - known as North Moluccas - and is the size of a human thumb.

The insect was first discovered in 1858 but has eluded scientists since 1981 when several other examples were found.

The giant hornet has reportedly killed numerous people. Credit: Asia Wire
The giant hornet has reportedly killed numerous people. Credit: Asia Wire

More than three decades later experts managed to find a live female specimen after spending days searching the island's wildlife - and with such a rare find they made sure it was photographed and filmed.

The team set off on their expedition last month, retracing the footsteps of Alfred Russel Wallace - who discovered the bee - through Indonesia to find the long lost insect.

Natural history photographer Clay Bolt was the first person in 38 years to capture a live example of the insect on camera.

He said: "It was absolutely breathtaking to see this 'flying bulldog' of an insect that we weren't sure existed anymore, to have real proof right there in front of us in the wild.

"To actually see how beautiful and big the species is in life, to hear the sound of its giant wings thrumming as it flew past my head, was just incredible."

I never wanted to go to China anyway.

Featured Image Credit: Asia Wire

Dominic Smithers

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in French and History, Dom went onto gain an NCTJ journalism qualification. Since then he has worked as a reporter at the Manchester Evening News and the Macclesfield Express, covering breaking news, court, sports, and politics.

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