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