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Executioner Wasp Has The Most Painful Stings In The World?

Executioner Wasp Has The Most Painful Stings In The World?


Popularised by Coyote Peterson in 2018, the “Executioner Wasp” is actually a Hornet (one of the most venomous species of Wasp). He basically translated the scientific name of the insect into simpler words.

But the question is, does it actually possess the most painful sting in the world?

1. Polistes carnifex is known as Kava Mainomby (hummingbird wasp) in the language of Paraguay. The term points to the giant size of this slender and vivid insect.

  1. In Latin, ‘carnifex’ can be translated to ‘executioner or hangman,’ with further implications to ‘villain, tormentor, murderer’ and related.

‘carnis’ (meat) + ‘-fex’ (facio, meaning maker).

  1. How To Spot An Executioner Wasp (Specifications)?


  • Largest Neotropical Wasp in Polistes Genus.
  • Body Length: 2cm-3cm

Colours (Yellow, Brown Stripes, Partial Black, Red-Brown)

  • Antennae: Yellow (dark base)
  • Head: Yellow (Crown: Black, Endings: Red-Brown Stripes)
  • Major Jaw (Maxillae): Red-Brown, Black Outline
  • Thorax (Upper Abdomen): Yellow, Black Dorsal (back), some Red-Brown Spots
  • Abdomen (Glossy) and plate covering Thorax (Pronotum): Completely Yellow
  • Second Part (Tergite or thick dorsal plate on body): Dark Base
  • Wings: Red-Brown/Yellowish (Tan-Brown, almost chestnut shade). Glossy.
  • Feet: Dark

Distinguishing from other Wasps:

  • Cheek plates are wide. Eyes do not touch clypeus (the thick plate on the face).
  • The first tergite is small, bulged and thick.
  • The first gastral (lower) abdomen is less broad.
  • Usually longer than 2.2cm.
  • Waist or Central Petiole: large, strong.

4. Thrive mostly in tropical forest (wooden) areas (tidal, humid and open). Tropical Zones: Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina (areas with no heavy rainfalls).

5. “Executioner Wasps” might sound like tormentors. In reality, these are Paper Wasps. They are non-aggressive eusocial wasps (cooperative and social, forming colonies).

6. The executioner wasp builds nests through wooden fibres (chewed) and their own saliva. They begin from scratch each year and do not live in the same place more than once. Combs are umbrella-shaped built-in sheltered/protected spaces (soil basins, lofts, etc.)

7. The colony of Executioner Wasp has worker policing. Worker females eat/remove eggs laid by workers (and not queen) to let the generation of queen-wasp dominate.

8. Executioner Wasps feed on other insects. They prey suddenly and use decapitation methods to destroy the creatures to feed their younger ones.

9. Executioner Wasps have been widely accepted to have the sharpest and mighty sting in the world, especially since 2018.

10. Nathaniel Coyote Peterson ended his YouTube series with this Polis carnifex. He took the sting, and while experiencing the pain, he said that it is more aggressively painful than Tarantula Hawk, Asian Giant Wasp and Bullet Ant. It burns (‘like walking on burning coals’), itches, swollen and can leave marks (holes) with its sting.

  1. What makes this non-aggressive wasp sting so aggressively painful?

The venom contains the following:

  • histamines
  • mast-cell degranulation proteins
  • norepinephrines

These can destroy the layer around blood cells, leaving the affected area numb, red and with possible white spots, leading to ’tissue necrosis’.

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He said, ‘My arm was swollen for days, and eventually a small hole rotted in my arm from the venom at the sting site.’ Coyote said that there’s a possibility that there might be more unpleasant stings (but for him, the journey ended there).

According to the insect sting pain index (Schmidt sting pain index), the Paper Wasps sting pains between 1.5 to 3 and of Asian Giant Hornet is 4+.

Thus, as far as we could grasp after extensive surfing and research:

Executioner Wasps, perhaps, are more mentally tormenting. They can also leave aftereffects. Asian Giant Hornets might be physically more agonizing.

As we leave the final conclusions on you, we would only say, be it Executioner or Asian Giant–“Don’t get stung by any!”

Blog Edited By Ritika Gupta

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