Skip to main content

NC State Extension

A Side by Side Comparison of the Asian Giant Hornet and Other Insects

The following are some insects that might be confused for the Asian Giant Hornet (also referred to in the media as the “Murder Hornet”) which is not in North Carolina at this time. As of this writing they have only been seen in the Pacific Northwest. However, we still get a lot of calls and emails, and thought we should point out a few key details about the Asian Giant Hornet.

You can also try our Interactive Guide

Please note: The remaining insects are native or long established in NC and many surrounding states. Proper identification is crucial as it is often not necessary to kill these insects.

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Eastern Cicada Killer, Sphecius speciosus

Eastern Cicada Killer, Sphecius speciosus

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

European Hornet, Vepa Crabro

European Hornet, Vespa crabro

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Southern Yellowjacket, Vespula Squamosa

Southern Yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneous

Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneous

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa virginica

Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa virginica

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Paper Wasp, Polisities sp.

Paper Wasp, Polistes sp.

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Bald Faced Hornet, Dolichovespula maculata

Bald Faced Hornet, Dolichovespula maculata

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Hover Fly, Milesia virginiens

Hover Fly, Milesia virginiensis

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Piegon Horntail, Tremex columba

Piegon Horntail, Tremex columba

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Bee Robber Fly, Mallophora sp.

Bee Robber Fly, Mallophora sp.

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Giant Robber Fly, Promachus rufipes

Giant Robber Fly, Promachus rufipes

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Elm Sawfly, Cimbex americana

Elm Sawfly, Cimbex americana (female)

Asian Giant Hornet (or Murder Hornet), Vespa mandarinia

Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Elm Sawfly (male), Cimbex americana

Elm Sawfly (male), Cimbex americana