The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), including the color form referred to as the Japanese giant hornet, is the world's largest hornet. It is native to temperate and tropical East Asia, South Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia, and parts of the Russian Far East. It was also found in the Pacific Northwest of North America in late 2019, with a few more additional sightings in 2020, prompting concern that it could become an invasive species. [Alaniz 1] They prefer to live in low mountains and forests, while almost completely avoiding plains and high-altitude climates. V. mandarinia creates nests by digging, co-opting pre-existing tunnels dug by rodents, or occupying spaces near rotted pine roots. [Archer 1] It feeds primarily on larger insects, colonies of other eusocial insects, tree sap, and honey from honey bee colonies. The hornet has a body length of 45 millimetres (1 3⁄4 inches), a wingspan around 75 mm (3 in), and a stinger 6 mm (1⁄4 in) long, which injects a large amount of potent venom. Although the scientific literature and official government sources continue to refer to this species by its established common name, the popular media have taken to using the nickname "murder hornet".
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