Oriental hornets possess built-in solar panels
Think insects are boring? The oriental hornet serves as a reminder that mini beasts have more going on than most people realise. These wasplike creatures are particularly active when the Sun is at its most intense, which is an odd characteristic for hornets considering they usually sleep during the bright hours. By analysing its exoskeleton, scientists learned something remarkable: the oriental hornet’s brown and yellow stripes act as solar panels, converting the Sun’s energy into electricity. The brown stripes trap sunlight, while the yellow ones convert it into electric power.
No one’s quite sure what the hornets use their electricity for. Some believe it aids their metabolism, some think it helps them to regulate their body temperature, and others believe the electrical boost might give their wing muscles extra power for flight.
right This hornet occurs in Southeast Asia, North Africa, Madagascar, Israel and southern Europe