Oriental Hornets Powered By ‘Solar Energy’

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Image by Jack WolfImage by Jack Wolf

The Oriental hornet has a unique ability to harvest solar energy, scientists have discovered.
The large wasp species has a special structure in its abdomen that traps the sun’s rays, and a special pigment that harvests the energy they contain.
The discovery helps explain why these hornets have a large yellow stripe across their body and why they become more active as the day gets hotter.
It also changes our understanding of how insect metabolism can work.
The discovery, reported in the journal Naturwissenschaften, was made by a team of researchers working in Israel and the UK, led by Dr Marian Plotkin of Tel-Aviv University.
Wasps are usually most active in the early morning, when they are around twice as active as at any other point in the day.
Oriental hornets (Vespa orientalis), which range from the Near East to India, are most active in the middle of the day.

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