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.
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.
If you spot any jellyfish, you can report them at the following address: .
Trachemysscripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) is a species of common, medium-sized, semi-aquatic turtle. It has been listed as one of the “Top 100” World’s Worst Invaders. These turtles often fight with native species for food, habitat, and other resources. Eventually they bully many native species out of basking sites – areas where there is sunlight and warmth for the species. When basking it is common that pond sliders will do so on birds’ nests, thereby killing the eggs. They also prey on young birds. Turtles that were raised in captivity can develop diseases that are unfamiliar to native species, which can be harmful. Turtles raised in captivity are often released because they become too much to handle or grow bigger than expected. It’s not uncommon that pond sliders will also run away (Wikipedia contributors 2020).
IAS of Union concern
In 2016, Trachemysscripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) was added to the list of invasive alien species of Union concern (Anonymous 2016) which implies that member states shall take all necessary steps to prevent its unintentional introduction or spread.
Currently, 173 records in Luxembourg are accessible through the MNHNL-mdata portal, when combining the species (145) with its two subspecies, T. scripta scripta (11) and T. scripta elegans (17) present in Luxembourg (MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF 2020).
Invasive pond sliders have been observed climbing the platforms of waterbirds, especially great crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus), to sunbathe, thus preventing successful breeding (Konter 2020: 81).
More details are available on the pages dedicated to both subspecies (see their distribution maps below).
Trachemysscriptatroostii (Holbrook, 1836), the Cumberland slider. According to GBIF (2019b) this subspecies is already present in Europe (Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Spain).
Anonymous, 2016. Commission implementing regulation (EU) 2016/1141 of 13 July 2016 adopting a list of invasive alien species of Union concern pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Official Journal of the European Union L 189: 4-5.
De Sousa, Tiago, 2020. Plan d’action pour espèces exotiques envahissantes au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg: la Tortue de Floride, Trachemys scripta spp. (Schoepff, 1792). Version 2020-09-04. Administration de la nature et des forêts, Luxembourg. 24 pp.
GBIF, 2019. Trachemys scripta (Thunberg In Schoepff, 1792) in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei [accessed 2020-04-27]
Konter, A., 2020. Schmuckschildkröten Trachemys scripla verhindern mehrere Haubentaucherbruten Podiceps cristalus auf dem Echternacher See. Regulus Wissenschaftliche Berichte 35: 81-86.
MNHNL, 2000-. Trachemysscriptascripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) in Recorder-Lux, database on the natural heritage of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [Accessed 2020-02-04]
MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2019. Trachemysscriptascripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) in MNHNL-mdata, online portal combining species observation from Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist and GBIF. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [Accessed 2020-02-04]
Wikipedia contributors, 2020. ‘Pond slider’, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 January 2020, 04:07 UTC, <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pond_slider&oldid=934733603> [accessed 2020-04-27]
Page content last updated on 2021-06-15. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2020-04-30.
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).
Pennisetumsetaceum (Forssk.)Chiov., commonly known as crimson fountaingrass, is a C4 perennial bunch grass that is native to open, scrubby habitats in East Africa, tropical Africa, the Middle East and SW Asia. It has been introduced to many parts of the world as an ornamental plant, and has become an invasive species in some of them. It is drought-tolerant, grows fast, reaches 3 feet in height, and has many purple, plumose flower spikes. Fountaingrass has been introduced to the Canary Islands, Sicily, Sardinia, southern Spain, Australia, South Africa, Hawaii, the Western United States, California, southern Florida and New Caledonia. It thrives in warmer, drier areas and threatens many native species, with which it competes very effectively as an invasive species. It also tends to increase the risk of intense wildfires, to which it is well adapted, thus posing a further threat to certain native species (Wikipedia contributors 2019).
IAS of Union concern
In 2017, Pennisetumsetaceum (Forssk.)Chiov. was added to the list of invasive alien species of Union concern (Anonymous 2017) which implies that member states shall take all necessary steps to prevent its unintentional introduction or spread.
Pennisetumsetaceum (Forssk.)Chiov. was first recorded in Luxembourg in December 2019 in two public parks: two plantings (15 and 29 m2; 9 specimens) in the municipal park of Hesperange (Signoret 2020: 20) and 5 specimens in the Edouard André Municipal Park in Luxembourg City (ibidem: 24) (MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2020).
C1 (3+2+2+1). First assessed 2021-02-16 by C. Ries & Y. Krippel.
Anonymous, 2017. Commission implementing regulation (EU) 2017/1263 of 12 July 2017 updating the list of invasive alien species of Union concern established by Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1141 pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Official Journal of the European Union L 182: 37-39 (13.7.2017).
MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2020. Pennisetum setaceumin MNHNL-mdata, online portal combining species observation from Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist and GBIF. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [Accessed 2020-03-04]
Ries, C. & Y. Krippel, 2021. First records of 56 invasive alien vascular plants in Luxembourg. Bulletin de la Société des naturalistes luxembourgeois 123: 115-127. [PDF 241 KB]
Signoret, S., 2020. Inventaire d’espèces exotiques envahissantes dans des arboretums, jardins botaniques et parcs aménagés au Luxembourg. Étude réalisée pour l’Administration de la nature et des forêts, 57 p. [PDF 6MB]
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.
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.
Page content last updated on 2020-03-05. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2020-03-05.
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.
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]
On 5 September 2019, Mars Di Bartolomeo, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, addressed a parliamentary question to the Minister of the Environment regarding the European list of invasive alien species.
Which species on this list have been recorded in Luxembourg?
Response from Carole Dieschbourg, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development:
Plants (5 species):
Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Nuttall’s waterweed (Elodea nuttallii)
Parrot’s feather (Myriophylum aquaticum)
Animals (9 species):
Spiny-cheek crayfish (Orconectes limosus)
Signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)
Topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva)
Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)
Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)
Coypu (Myocastor coypus)
Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)
Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
Red eared slider (Trachemys scripta).
Given that these species pose a threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services, what is his Ministry’s strategy for more effective eradication, management and control methods to combat the adverse effects associated with this phenomenon?
Response from Carole Dieschbourg, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development:
In accordance with European regulations, Luxembourg’s strategy to counter the environmental and social problems caused by invasive alien species has four main components, namely
early detection and rapid eradication,
awareness and training.
There are two scenarios:
the establishment of emerging species and any new invasive alien species detected on national territory is prevented;
populations of widely distributed species are controlled, in order to reduce their environmental and social impacts and avoid further spread.
For widespread species, “Invasive Alien Species Action Plans” have been developed, which include the actions to be implemented for each species. All actions thus defined shall be based on the best scientific knowledge and shall take due account of cost-effectiveness, human health, the environment and animal welfare.
A public consultation will be launched shortly for each action plan.
The Slovenian Forestry Institute has published a Field Guide to Invasive Alien Species in European Forests which was translated to English and made available as PDF file.
This guide was first prepared in Slovenian, within the framework of the project Awareness Raising, Training and Measures on Invasive alien Species in forests (LIFE ARTEMIS), which is funded by the European Commission in the framework of the LIFE financial mechanism, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia, the City of Ljubljana and the Slovenian Research Agency.
Kus Veenvliet, J., P. Veenvliet, M. de Groot & L. Kutnar (eds.). 2019. A Field Guide to Invasive Alien Species in European Forests. Nova vas: Institute Symbioisis, so. e.; Ljubljana: The Silva Slovenica Publishing Centre, Slovenian Forestry Institute. [PDF 32 MB]
Page content last updated on 2019-12-12. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-12-12.