The first observation of Lysichiton americanus in Luxembourg has been documented by C. Wolff via iNaturalist on 31st May 2022 and was confirmed by M. Oly on 2nd June in the Mamer valley close to Kopstal.
Since 2021-07-14, an alert system concerning iNaturalist neobiota observations from Luxembourg has been operational. Paul Braun, digital curator at the Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History, has implemented a Python code executed every day at 12:00 CET (= 13:00 local time) which sends an email alert message to key persons in charge of neobiota early detection and surveillance in Luxembourg. Independently from their quality grade, all observations since the day before 00:00 CET until the current day 12:00 CET are compiled and sent to , and thereafter dispatched to a selection of key persons. We chose 12:00 CET to enable a rapid response in case of observations of important species occur on the current morning. Unfortunately, the iNaturalist API does not give the option to choose precise periods for data extraction, which results in an overlap of the periods covered by the alert messages.
Recommendations to iNaturalist: it would be useful to implement the following in future versions of the API:
- enable the selection of a specific set of fields needed for a query (currently only complete data sets can be selected, which causes transfer of high data volumes and has a negative impact on climate and environment);
- enable precise periods for observation queries.
Example of an iNaturalist alert message
An alert system for neobiota observations recorded in the national database on natural heritage Recorder-Lux has been operational since 2019. It triggers an alarm message as soon as an observation is entered in data.mnhn.lu or uploaded to the Recorder-Lux database. It was implemented by Armand Turpel.
Example of a Recorder-Lux alert message
Thus, most neobiota observations from Luxembourg will trigger an alarm in a timely manner. However, a small gap remains: the observations of invasive alien bird species via the database of the Centrale Ornithologique du Luxembourg (COL) do not yet trigger an alarm in a timely manner. This currently concerns the following 4 bird species: Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata), Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca), Canada goose (Branta canadensis) and Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri).
Posted by C. Ries.
On Sunday 13 June 2021, a citizen of Rumelange discovered an initial nest of an Asian black hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) and reported it to the Natural History Museum. The initial nests of the native Eurasian hornet (Vespa crabro) look very similar.
Note: This occurrence/detection of an Invasive Alien Species of Union concern named Vespa velutina nigrithorax has been notified on 16 June 2021 by Luxembourg, pursuant to Article 16(2) of R.1143/2014. The EASIN Notification System automatically warns (all the other) European Member States whenever the occurrence/detection of an IAS of Union concern is notified.
Since the beginning of September 2020, the first sightings of the Yellow-legged Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) have been reported in Luxembourg. To date, its presence has been noted in Junglinster, Ingeldorf, Esch-sur-Alzette, Schifflange and Beckerich. Originally from South-East Asia, this hornet was introduced to France around 2004, and has since gradually colonised much of Europe, from Portugal to northern Germany.
The risk of stinging remains negligible as long as one does not approach its nest. The Yellow-legged Asian Hornet resembles the European Hornet (Vespa crabro), which is indigenous to Europe.
For more information about the Yellow-legged Asian Hornet and especially the characteristics allowing its identification, do not hesitate to consult the links below.
- FR & DE: The press release in French and German
- EN: Dedicated page on this website: https://neobiota.lu/vespa-velutina-nigrithorax/
- LB: A detailed description on the Luxembourgian Wikipedia
At the beginning of September 2020, freshwater jellyfish were spotted in the Upper Sûre Lake. Photographs of this jellyfish were sent by divers from the CGDIS Frogmen Group to the Water Management Administration (AGE) and the Nature and Forestry Administration (ANF). This observation made it possible to confirm the presence of the Craspedacusta sowerbii jellyfish in the Upper Sûre Lake.
It is true that the term “jellyfish” is reminiscent of marine species with a stinging nature, which can trigger painful skin reactions, similar to a burn, on direct contact with the animal. The freshwater jellyfish, on the other hand, is a harmless relative. Although it belongs to the group of cnidarians, it is completely harmless to humans.
Originally from Asia, the freshwater jellyfish has spread to other parts of the world mainly due to the introduction of aquatic plants and fish. This invasive alien species is no larger than 25 mm in diameter and prefers calm, stagnant waters that warm up considerably in summer.
As this jellyfish requires temperatures often above 20°C over a long period of time, its appearance takes place from July to October with a peak observed from the end of August to the beginning of September.
It should also be noted that these jellyfish prefer clean water. In the evening, they often come to the surface of the water and can be observed there. They can also be admired when diving at greater depths during the day. These jellyfish have also been reported in other surrounding areas. It is very likely that their proliferation will continue as the climate warms.
The problem of the appearance of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), which is a real concern in many respects for the Upper Sûre Lake, is a phenomenon totally independent of the appearance of the freshwater jellyfish observed and described in this press release.
In 1974, the polyp of Craspedacusta sowerbii had already been discovered in Luxembourg by biologist Jacques Dahm, in the river Sûre near Wasserbillig (Dahm 1974):
Dahm, J., 1974. Die Hydrozoen Luxemburgs. Eine Bestandsaufnahme und Beschreibung der in Luxemburg lebenden Hydrozoen. Luxembourg. Mém. sci. asp.-prof. 232 p.
In early spring 2020 the Department for the Environment of the Luxembourg Ministry for environment, climate and sustainable development edited leaflets in German and French about Fallopia japonica and Impatiens glandulifera, in co-operation with the National Museum of Natural History and efor-ersa ingénieurs-conseils. They can be downloaded here in PDF format (~ 4 MB each).
The Invasive Alien Species in Europe app enables the general public (amateurs and professionals) to receive and share information about Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Europe. It provides details about 66 different IAS that are considered to be of interest to the complete European Union. Users can record pictures of possible Invasive Alien Species together with complementary information about their observation.
Official page of the app: https://digitalearthlab.jrc.ec.europa.eu/app/invasive-alien-species-europe
The next NEOBIOTA conference will take place in Vodice (Croatia) on September 15-18, 2020 and is organised by Sven Jelaska, professor at the Department of Biology, University of Zagreb.
11th International Conference on Biological Invasions
The Human Role in Biological Invasions: a case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?
- Conference website → http://www.neobiota2020.biol.pmf.hr
- Conference email address →
All important information concerning dates, registration, booking, fees, etc. are now available at the NEOBIOTA 2020 website. The abstract submission process will start by the end of February and last until March 31st, 2020.
Press release on 17/12/2019 by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development (MECDD)
As provided for by Article 4 of the Law of 2 July 2018 (Mémorial 2018) on certain implementing rules and sanctions of Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014, the draft action plans for invasive alien species (IAS AP) are made available to the public on the website of the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development.
Currently a public consultation on the action plans for 11 species is underway. All comments on these draft action plans should be sent by e-mail to or by post to the Administration de la nature et des forêts (81, avenue de la Gare, L-9233 Diekirch). The deadline for sending your comments and suggestions is 13 February 2020.
Draft action plans under public consultation
- Alopochen aegyptiacus: Egyptian goose, ouette d’Égypte, Nilgans (PDF 1,7 MO)
- Elodea nuttallii: Nuttall’s Waterweed, élodée de Nuttall, Schmalblättrige Wasserpest (PDF 1,3 MO)
- Heracleum mantegazzianum: Giant hogweed, berce du Caucase, Riesen-Bärenklau (PDF 1,3 MO)
- Impatiens glandulifera: Himalayan Balsam, impatiente de l’Inde, Drüsiges Springkraut (PDF 1,4 MO)
- Myocastor coypus: Coypu, ragondin, Nutria (PDF 2 MO)
- Ondatra zibethicus: Muskrat, rat musqué, Bisamratte (PDF 1,9 MO)
- Orconectes limosus: Spinycheek crayfish, écrevisse américaine, Kamberkrebs (PDF 3 MO)
- Pacifastacus leniusculus: Signal crayfish, écrevisse de Californie, Signalkrebs (PDF 3 MO)
- Procyon lotor: Raccoon, raton laveur, Waschbär (PDF 2,4 MO)
- Pseudorasbora parva: Topmouth, goujon asiatique, Blaubandbärbling (PDF 1,2 MO)
- Trachemys scripta: pond slider, n/a, Nordamerikanische Buchstaben-Schmuckschildkröte (PDF 1,8 MO)
- Mémorial, 2018. Loi du 2 juillet 2018 concernant certaines modalités d’application et les sanctions du règlement (UE)n° 1143/2014 du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 22 octobre 2014 relatif à la prévention et à lagestion de l’introduction et de la propagation des espèces exotiques envahissantes. Mémorial A (04/07/2018), 553: 1-4. [PDF]