Vespa mandarinia - BIO203


    The Vespa mandarinia are found throughout Asia and tend to live near mountains or hillsides (Matsuura and Sakagami 1973). While some are found flatlands such as plains, in a normal circumstance, the hornets would not likely live there. V. mandarinia seem to only have subterranean nesting cavities that can be formed by themselves, tree roots, or even other animals (Matsuura and Sakagami 1973). If the hornets come upon a preexisting cavity, they tend to use that as their entrance to the nest. The depth to the start of the nest tends to vary anywhere from 6cm to 60cm.  The queen hornets that discovers the nests tend to like the cavities rather narrow compared to one that would be wider (Matsuura and Sakagami 1973).
    Many organisms can be found in a similar habitat to the V. mandarinia. Some would include bees, mantises and other hornet species (Matsuura and Sakagami 1973; Sugahara et al. 2009). The V. mandarinia are native to temperate and tropical East Asia, as well as Japan. (Yanagawa et al. 2007; Sugahara et al. 2009). You will not find V. mandarinia outside of South East Asia generally (Matsuura and Sakagami 1973).
    In the subtropical mountains of East Asia, the changes between temperate forests and tropical forests are very noticeable in different elevations between the 20 and 30 latitude lines (Liao et al. 2013). Typically the higher the elevation, the more temperate vegetation was found (Liao et al. 2013). Some types of trees found in these areas are conifers that can supply the sap to the V. mandarinia as food source. Evergreens seem to be quite common in the mountains.

    Some of the lower portions of the mountain tend to have more tropical vegetation (Liao et al. 2013). Some of the vegetation in this area represents a deciduous and evergreen forests (Liao et al. 2013). The hornets sometimes feed on tree sap, so it is not uncommon to find the V. mandarinia in a forested area (Kakutani et al. 2007). These subtropical mountains contain a wide variety of flora that is beneficial to the V. mandarinia.
    Vast amount of trees provide the type of nesting area the hornets need because of the large amount of roots and burrowing animals in the mountains and hillsides (Matsuura and Sakagami 1973; Liao et al. 2013). Since the mountains have such an abundance of places for the hornets to make their nest, it is the perfect habitat for them. The plentiful amount of flora here also attracts many pollinators like bees, which are a major food source of the V. mandarinia (Matsuura and Sakagami 1973; Liao et al. 2013). Monsoons are a common occurrence in the habitat of the V. mandarinia (Liao et al. 2013). The monsoons bring in humid air and help give the lower regions of the mountains its tropical characteristics. They also provide precipitation that helps keep all the vegetation healthy (Liao et al. 2013).

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