This Giant Wasp Is Just a Harmless Moth in Disguise

The European hornet moth looks terrifying at first glance, but its uncanny resemblance to a giant wasp is just an elaborate disguise meant to keep predators at bay. The hornet moth is a prime example of a form of mimicry where a harmless species has evolved to imitate the look and/or behavior of a harmful species in order to protect itself from predators. In this case, the yellow and black combination, the shape of the abdomen, and the see-through wings do a great job of creating the illusion of a menacing wasp. It’s only upon closer inspection that you notice the insect’s lack of a clearly defined, wasp-like waist, a furry body, and two uncharacteristically small eyes. Despite the ominous look of the European hornet moth, the species is completely harmless to humans, as it lacks any kind of stinger, as well as the ability to bite. It doesn’t need either of those, as its appearance alone is enough to keep most humans at a safe distance. Although harmless to humans, it is considered a secondary threat to poplar trees, especially in Great Britain, as they feed on their wood and also deposit their larvae in the trees, from which they emerge as adults.