Monk attacked by a swarm of hornets in northern Thailand

PHOTO: Sanook

A monk at a temple in the northern province of Lampang, south of Chiang Mai, has been attacked by a swarm of hornets, resulting in him being stung at least 30 times on his face, lips and body. Thai Residents reports that the attack took place at night as the monk was feeding the temple dogs.

Rescue workers were dispatched to Mother Suchada Temple after receiving reports of the attack. They found the monk, named only as 65 year old ‘Ekkachai’, in a serious condition, extremely nauseous and showing signs of tachycardia, when the heart beats at over 100 beats a minute. He was given emergency first aid on the spot and then transferred to Lampang Hospital for further treatment. It’s understood one or more of the dogs were also stung in the incident; their condition is not known.

The hornets are believed to be the species Vespa affinis, or lesser banded hornet, common in Asia. The abbot at the temple says they have been building a nest for around 2 months, with the nest growing by the day. He says he hopes someone who knows something about the insects could help with relocating the nest as he fears they may attack again.

Monk attacked by a swarm of hornets in northern Thailand | News by Thaiger

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PHOTO: Vespa affinis

The “lesser banded hornet” is a small to medium-sized hornet, with queens reaching up to 30mm, males 26mm and workers averaging 22 to 25mm.

The head is brownish red or black, pubescent, with some red markings on frons and vertex, black temple; compound eyes and ocelli black; dark brown antennae and usually pale brown underneath; black clypeus, coarsely punctate, posterior side of clypeus with broadly rounded lobes; mandibles and tooth black. Thorax black with many punctures and some erected hairs, propodeum black. Legs dark brown. Wings dark fuscous brown, tegulae dark brown. Gaster with some fine punctures, dark brown segments except first and second segments yellowish orange. In some specimens, the yellowish orange on the first tergite may be reduced to two transverse spots and a narrow apical band.

There are many colour variants across the range of the species, originally considered subspecies but no longer recognised; while there is a history of recognising subspecies within many of the Vespa hornets, the most recent taxonomic revision of the genus treats all subspecific names in the genus Vespa as synonyms, effectively relegating them to no more than informal names for regional colour forms. In Hong Kong and South China the wasps are mainly black, with the first two abdominal segments being a deep yellow, forming a conspicuous band. The sides of the head and thorax display some reddish brown. In Southeast Asian regions such as Singapore they are fully black, without reddish brown markings, and the abdominal band is a brilliant orange – Wikipedia.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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