Also known as the Japanese giant hornet, the species can grow up to three inches in length and reportedly inflicts the single most painful string of any insect anywhere on the planet.
One victim, an entomologist, likened the experience to having a hot nail driven into his leg.
Nicknamed the yak-killer, the hornet's venom contains eight chemicals, one of which is designed purely to attract other hornets to the wound lest the victim remain standing. It is by no means always fatal, but estimates of fatalities range up to around 70 a year.
Pictured above is asian hornet larva sushi served at a bug-eating party in Tokyo.