A giant wasp-like insect was discovered by a business owner after it fell out of the sky and landed dead in her back garden.
Samantha Stoneley, 28, was enjoying a break from work at her home in Hull on Saturday when a giant hornet-like insect fell from the sky and landed in her garden.
She had some workmen at her house laying decking in her back garden on Saturday when they heard a buzzing.
Samantha said: ‘All of a sudden this thing came flying over us and we just thought, ‘What the hell is that?
Samantha Stoneley, 28, was left horrified after this giant hornet-like insect landed in her garden in Hull as she enjoyed a break from work
‘I talk about the size of it and people don’t believe how big it was if they weren’t there.’
The business owner described the insect as being longer than a cotton bud, with what looks like a stinger extending even further.
‘I would hate anyone’s child to get stung by that because it could do some real damage,’ Samantha said.
‘It was huge. It’s not something I’ve ever seen before, it’s something you would expect to find abroad.
It was thought that the giant hornet-like insect discovered by Samantha is an Asian killer hornet which has a potent venom in its stinger (stock photo)
‘I’ve been to a lot of places, including Australia, and I’ve never seen something quite that big.’
She said she and the workers in her garden were left stunned by the arrival of the enormous insect.
‘It just hit the floor and didn’t move from that position,’ she said. ‘We were all so shocked and just looked at each other like, ‘What do we do now?’
‘It frightened me so it would frighten any child coming across it playing in their garden.’
Samantha said she was concerned that children playing in their garden could get hurt if they came across similar insects.
But Dr Gavin Broad, the Principle Curator in Charge of Insects at the Natural History Museum, believes that the insect Samantha found is a harmless wood wasp (pictured, stock photo), and he described her find as ‘impressively large’
Professor Jim Hardie, Director of Science for the Royal Entomological Society, also identified Stephanie’s giant insect as a wood wasp (stock photo)
However, Dr Gavin Broad, the Principle Curator in Charge of Insects at the Natural History Museum, believes that the insect Samantha found is harmless.
Speaking to MailOnline, Dr Broad said: ‘This is a wood-wasp (Urocerus gigas). It is a totally harmless, although impressively large, relative of wasps.
‘The larvae of wood-wasps feed on wood, as their name suggests. It takes about three years for them to eat enough wood, they then emerge as adults. These are quite common, especially where there is plenty of pine, which is what they eat.
‘The thing that looks like a sting is its ovipositor; it uses the ovipositor to ‘drill’ a hole into wood and then lay its eggs in there.
Two-year-old Noah, from Hull, (right) discovered another hornet-like insect in his family’s back garden and his father Paul Everingham (left) captured it in a plastic container
‘The black and yellow colour pattern is defensive mimicry: by looking like stinging wasps they have less chance of being eaten by birds.’
Professor Jim Hardie, Director of Science for the Royal Entomological Society, also identified Stephanie’s giant insect as a wood wasp.
He said: ‘They are impressive insects and totally harmless. They are native and widespread to Britain and found throughout.’
This isn’t the only large insect to have been found in a garden recently.
A few days ago a similar creature was found in an east Hull garden which was feared to have been a giant Asian killer hornet.
An expert said that the insect captured by Paul Everingham in Hull looks more like a harmless Asian horntail rather than an Asian killer hornet
The Asian killer hornet has distinctive yellow legs, much like the bug found in Samantha’s back garden, and has very potent venom.
The Sun reports that two-year-old Noah, from Hull, discovered another hornet-like insect in his family’s back garden.
His father Paul Everingham captured the insect in a plastic container and tried to find out what insect his son had found.
Paul said: ‘I’m 99 per cent sure it is a giant Asian killer hornet. It said online that it can kill humans in one shot.’
However, an expert has said that the insect discovered by Paul is more likely an Asian horntail which is harmless.
What are wood-wasps and are they dangerous?
Wood-wasps, also known as giant horntails, are a type of massive sawfly that is a relative of wasps.
They are commonly found in the UK and are seen most frequently in the months May to August.
The female is black and yellow and has a long, stinger-like tail that is actually her ovipositor, which she uses to lay her eggs into wood, particularly pine.
Despite its fearsome appearance, the giant horntail is harmless. However, the length of time the larvae spend in wood does result in the adults sometimes emerging from harvested timber used for building or even furniture.
Source: The Wildlife Trusts