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What's the difference between a European hornet and a murder hornet?

WBIR-TV Knoxville logo WBIR-TV Knoxville 5/12/2021 WBIR Staff
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Spring means more critters are starting to come out, which means you might start seeing more of the European hornet.

It's a big bug that is well known in Tennessee and some people are still confusing it with the Asian giant hornet-- also known as the murder hornet.

How can you tell the two apart? 

First, the murder hornet is going to be bigger than the European hornet.

Another easy way to tell is the color of its abdomen. The European hornet has a distinct "teardrop" shape coming from the black stripe that's on the left. Murder hornets have stripes that go straight across.

The Asian giant hornet also has a lighter-colored head and a darker thorax.

On the other hand, the European hornet's head and thorax are similar colors.

If you do spot something unusual flying around your home, contact your local extension office.

Submitting photos will help experts identify what it could be.

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