The last time we heard from so-called "murder hornets" (Vespa mandarinia) was back in 2020- at least in big headlines. The invasive species from Asia is a true cause for concern- not because they murder humans per se, but because they can decimate honey bee colonies with shocking ferocity. Even if you don't eat honey, you probably do eat fruits and vegetables, a third of which are pollinated by bees in the U.S.

Luckily for us all, eradication efforts have been robust and effective. Anytime this menace is spotted, entomologists have led heroic efforts to rid the U.S. of this harmful pest.

However, there's a new killer that's been spotted in the U.S. Meet Vespa velutina, a.k.a the Yellow-Legged Hornet. This guy is just as nasty as Vespa mandarinia and it was recently spotted in Georgia.

This is the first time a live specimen of this species has been detected in the open United States.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture wants the public to be on the lookout this hornet.

The public plays an important role, and we are asking Georgians to report sightings of the yellow-legged hornet using this online reporting form. We urge the public to be cautious in the event they come across a suspected yellow-legged hornet. If you can safely take a photo of the suspected yellow-legged hornet, we encourage you to do so to assist us with identification.

Of course, any flying critter is unlikely to respect State boundaries, so these hornets could easily make it to other parts of the U.S. There are many types of hornets (and insects that look like hornets) throughout Texas and the South in general that are native species that are important pollinators and should not be harmed. So how can you tell if it's a Yellow-Legged hornet? The first clue is the mostly yellow legs, of course.

If you think you've spotted either species of "murder hornet" in Texas, you can report your finding to the Texas Department of Agriculture.

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