||Yellow-legged Asian hornet
||Status LU: casual. 1st record: 2020.
||Status EU: established. IAS of EU concern (2016).
||Frelon à pattes jaunes
||RA: ISEIA: C1. Harmonia+: n/a.
||Wikipedia: | Wikispecies: | CABI
||Back to the list of invertebrates
Vespa velutina nigrithorax de Buysson, 1905 (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) is a hornet of Asian origin which is a generalist predator of medium- to large-sized insects, and scavenger of vertebrate carrion. It has large impacts on Diptera and social hymenopterans, and in particular on honey bees (Apis spp.). It has recently been spreading in Asia (it is an invasive species in South Korea and Japan), and the subspecies V. v. nigrithorax has been accidentally introduced to Europe where it was first recorded from southern France in 2004 (Villemant et al. 2006a: 536, 2006b). Since then it has been found in Spain (2010; López et al. 2011), Portugal (2011; Grosso-Silva & Maia 2012), Belgium (2011, 2016; Barbier & Renneson 2018), Italy (2012; Federazione Apicoltori Italiani 2013), Germany (2014; von Orlow 2014), the Balearic Islands (2015; Leza et al. 2018), the Channel Islands (2016; States of Guernsey Government 2016), the UK (2016; Budge et al. 2017), the Netherlands (2017; Smit et al. 2017), Switzerland (2017; Ebener 2017), Luxembourg (2020; MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2020). This invasive species can threaten honey production and native pollinating insects. It may be introduced and transported accidentally with soil associated with plants, garden furniture and pots, timber, vegetables, camping equipment, etc. (CABI 2019).
Further invasions are expected in various countries covering much of Europe.
IAS of Union concern
In 2016, Vespa velutina nigrithorax de Buysson, 1905 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 it’s unintentional introduction or spread.
Status and distribution in Luxembourg
Vespa velutina nigrithorax
1905 was first recorded in the wild in Luxembourg by Thierry Helminger on 2nd
September 2020: a few individuals on grapes from a vine in a garden (Helminger 2020). On 4th
September 2020, a team of experts tried to locate the nest. The search was unsuccessful because the crowns of the trees in question could not be well inspected due to the dense foliage. The search will only be successful in autumn. However, the young queens will have already left their nest at that time to look for a wintering place. We must then probably expect an expansion of the population in 2021.
On 9th September 2020, the yellow-legged Asian hornet was recorded near Ingeldorf by the beekeeper Nicolas Josselin.
Further observations of the yellow-legged Asian hornet have been since reported from Junglinster (2020-09-09 Cité Kremerich; 2020-09-16 CIPA).
Currently, 5 records of in Luxembourg are accessible through the MNHNL-mdata portal (MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF 2020).
The European hornet (Vespa crabro) and several social wasps (Vespula spp.) are well established in Luxembourg and they occupy potential niches suitable for the yellow-legged Asian hornet. Nico Schneider (2018) wonders if this might be part of the explanation why the yellow-legged Asian hornet hadn’t established itself in Luxembourg in the last years.
Following its discovery in Luxembourg on 2nd September 2020, the species has been reassessed on 3rd September to C1 (3+1+1+1) by Christian Ries. Assessment before the appearance of the species in Luxembourg: C0 (3+1+1+1) (Ries et al. 2017: 69).
Not assessed yet.
Fact sheet and leaflet
PDF fact sheet of the Nature and Forestry Administration: FR
In spring 2016 the Department for the Environment of the Luxembourg Ministry of sustainable development and infrastructures published a leaflet in German about Vespa velutina, in co-operation with the Nature and Forestry Administration, the National Museum of Natural History, natur&ëmwelt and the National Bee-keeping Association.
→ Download the leaflet in PDF format (3.2 MB)
Since the publication of the leaflet, the yellow-legged Asian hornet has been reported several times to the authorities. Until September 2020, all these reports were mistaken for the native European hornet.
In the press
Lëtzebuerger Beienzeitung 2016/12: 394.
- 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.
- Barbier Y. & J.-L. Renneson (2018) Vespa velutina Lepeletier, 1836. Atlas Hymenoptera. URL: http://www.atlashymenoptera.net/pagetaxon.asp?tx_id=3877 [2018.01.03]
- Budge G.E., J. Hodgetts, E.P. Jones, J.C. Ostojá-Starzewski, J. Hall, V. Tomkies, et al., 2017. The invasion, provenance and diversity of Vespa velutina Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in Great Britain. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0185172. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185172
- CABI, 2019. Vespa velutina [text by Sarah Bunker, UK; CRCNPB Australia]. In: Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. URL: www.cabi.org/isc [accessed 2020-01-31]
- Ebener, A., 2017. Arrivée du frelon asiatique en Suisse. Communiqué d’apiservice. URL: https://ffa-vfb.ch/2017/04/26/apiservice-arrivee-du-frelon-asiatique-en-suisse/
- Federazione Apicoltori Italiani, 2013. Vespa velutina: prima segnalazione in Italia. E’ allarme!. Rome, Italy: Federazione Apicoltori Italiani.
- Grosso-Silva J.M. & M. Maia, 2012. Vespa velutina Lepeletier, 1836 (Hymenoptera, Vespidae), new species for Portugal. In: Arquivos Entomolóxicos, 6 53-54.
- Helminger, T., 2020. Personal communication by e-mail to C. Ries on 3rd September 2020.
- Leza M., M. Á. Miranda & V. Colomar, 2018. First detection of Vespa velutina nigrithorax (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean): a challenging study case. Biological Invasions. 20 (7), 1643-1649. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-017-1658-z DOI:10.1007/s10530-017-1658-z
- López, S., M. González & A. Goldarazena, 2011. Vespa velutina Lepeletier, 1836 (Hymenoptera: Vespidae): first records in Iberian Peninsula. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin. 41 (3), 439-441.
- MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2020. Vespa velutina nigrithorax de Buysson, 1905 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 2020-09-18]
- Ries, C., A. Arendt, C. Braunert, S. Christian, A. Dohet, A. Frantz, G. Geimer, M. Hellers, J. A. Massard, X. Mestdagh, R. Proess, N. Schneider & M. Pfeiffenschneider, 2017. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of invertebrates in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 119: 63-70. [PDF 360 KB]
- Schneider, N., 2018. Personal communication by e-mail to C. Ries on 3rd January 2018.
- Smit J, R van de Roer, R Fontein & A de Wilde (2017) Eerste vondst van de aziatische hoornaar Vespa velutina nigrithorax in Nederland (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Nederlandse Faunistische Mededelingen 49: 1-10.
- States of Guernsey Government, 2016. Asian hornet identified in Alderney., https://www.gov.gg/article/155332/Asian-Hornet-identified-in-Alderney
- Villemant, C., J. Haxaire & J.-C. Streito, 2006a. Premier bilan de l’invasion de Vespa velutina Lepeletier en France (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France 111 (4): 535-538. [PDF]
- Villemant, C., J. Haxaire & J.-C. Streito, 2006b. La découverte du frelon asiatique Vespa velutina, en France. In: Insectes, 143 (4) 3-7. [PDF]
- von Orlow, M., 2014. Asiatische Hornisse hat Deutschland erreicht. Nachweis bei Karlsruhe / Imker befürchten Schäden an Bienenvölkern. URL: https://www.nabu.de/news/2014/09/17045.html
Page content last updated on 2020-09-18. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-12-12.