No, Insect Spotted in the Hudson Valley is Not a Murder Hornet. But What is It?
You may remember the "Murder Hornets"? Just another one of the doom and gloom stories that was 2020 (they were actually first detected in the U.S, in 2019), and now the giant aggressive insects have been spotted in the United States yet again. But have they made their way east to the Hudson Valley and other parts of the Northeast? Was one actually spotted in Orange County recently? Experts are saying no to this. Well, at least they haven't arrived east just yet.
This is the video that caused the confusion. A viewer in Cornwall posted the attached video at HV12, and thought they had stumbled upon one of the dreadful hornets. If one was here in the Hudson Valley, then potentially tens of thousands more may not be far off. Well, do not fear. The Cornell Cooperative Extension says the insect you see in the video is actually a Pigeon Tremex. While this sort of insect can look quite scary, they're not really aggressive. They are commonly found in hardwood forests, and their stinger you see is not actually a stinger. It is an ovipositor. They are harmless.
"Murder Hornets" are better known to some as the Japanese giant hornet, the yak-killer hornet, or sparrow wasp. They are the world's largest hornets, and can grow to the size of an adults' thumb and deliver a sting so painful that one entomologist described it to The New York Times as "like having red-hot thumbtacks". Once again, the nasty insects have been spotted in the Pacific Northwest. So far, two of their nests have been eradicated in Washington state this year. This is their most active time of year, when they go into what CNN refers to as a slaughter phase. This is where they have been to known to raid other bees hives and where they decapitate their victims.