what is this thing ?

any idea what this insect is ? it was in church last thursday evening and was about 5 cm long.
luckily (for us) it was deaded already.

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6 thoughts on “what is this thing ?”

  1. It looks like a hornet (Vespa crabro), and as it was in church in the evening it had probably been attending *vespers*.

  2. But, Sarah, a yellow jacket is a wasp, and a hornet is just a bigger wasp, so surely it must be a wasp.

  3. I’m pretty certain it’s a Hornet, Vespa crabro. All the markings and colours seem correct but at 5cms it’s exceptionally huge. Hornets are normally nearer 30cms, so I’d like to see this particular one if it’s still around and have a closer look. They became pretty rare in England at one stage, but over the last few years seem to have made a spectacular recovery. They like wooded areas with plenty of dead trees, just like the area around the church in fact, so it all ties in.

  4. i didn’t keep the body. there were other witnesses though (jane & lynda) so you can ask them for a length report.
    as regular readers will know i’m useless at estimating distances, weight and time, so it might have been nearer 3 cms.
    but it certainly wasn’t 30cm !

  5. Sorry about the 30cms typo Dave, just thought I’d bring a little excitement into your life! Imagine a Hornet a foot long! At the risk of stating the obvious, I meant to say either 3cms or 30mms but, as entomologists are prone to do, ended up with a kind of hybrid!

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