International researchers have solved a many-legged mystery discovered in North Vancouver earlier this month.
Valerie Greer told Global News her boyfriend captured the four-centimetre hornet at his office near the North Vancouver port on May 10 and initially theorized it was Japanese hornet.
It turns out they weren’t far off.
The insect is actually a female Vespa ducalis, or black-tailed hornet, according to Karen Needham with UBC’s zoology department.
According to Needham, the hornet is native to south and east Asia, and is known to live in India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, Japan and parts of Russia.
The university was able to positively identify the creature after speaking with an expert at Japan’s Ibaraki University.
Prof. Cameron Lait with the Kwantlen Polytechnic University School of Horticulture says the hornets primarily attack and eat the larvae of paper wasps.
He said the hornets are fairly docile, and that a person could probably hold one in their hand without being stung.
As for the fate of the hornet, Greer said it’s found a new home at the university.
“He will be available to researchers for perpetuity. Or until the zombie apocalypse.”
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