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Effects of the European hornet (Vespa crabro Linnaeus 1761) crude venom on its own species

Jerzy Nadolski

Author Affiliations

Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, Natural History Museum, University of Łódź, Kilińskiego 101, Łódź, 90-011, Poland

Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2013, 19:4  doi:10.1186/1678-9199-19-4

Published: 18 March 2013



Lethal dose 50% is a classical index of toxicity that usually employs small rodents as experimental animals. Therefore, scarce data are available on the effects of venom on invertebrates, particularly the impact of wasp venom on its own species.


In the present study, the lethality of Vespa crabro venom on its own species was studied. Lethal dose 50% values of crude venom on workers of hornet Vespa crabro were estimated to be 4.0 mg/kg of body weight.


Wasps can use their venom apparatus effectively when attacking foreign workers that appear in the immediate vicinity of their nest. The toxins released during stinging are potent enough to kill. The result of this study eliminates the popular myth that venomous animals can be resistant to their own venom.

European hornet; Vespa crabro; Hornet venoms; LD50