Alert system for iNaturalist neobiota observations in place in Luxembourg

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.

If interested, other member states of the European Union are welcome to obtain the code in order to set up a similar alert system for their country. The contact email address is .

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

iNaturalist Neobiota Luxembourg update 2021-07-26

9 neobiota species occurrence records have been updated or added in the Neobiota Luxembourg project on iNaturalist.LU since: 2021-07-25

Species observed on created on observed by quality grade iNaturalist.LU link
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-23 2021-07-23 jamija research 88294335
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-22 2021-07-22 liial needs_id 88117244
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-20 2021-07-20 carla1964 research 87840451
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-19 2021-07-19 xylocopa research 87701163
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-15 2021-07-15 nulu1 needs_id 87128863
Harmonia axyridis 2021-07-15 2021-07-15 nulu1 needs_id 87128655
Lepomis gibbosus 2021-07-11 2021-07-25 alexanderkristiansen needs_id 88610643
Pacifastacus leniusculus 2021-04-21 2021-07-25 alexanderkristiansen needs_id 88611675
Harmonia axyridis 2020-06-09 2021-07-22 mia328 research 88089824

Please help validate neobiota species observations on iNaturalist.LU here.
The Neobiota Luxembourg project on iNaturalist.LU can be found here.
The data in this mail was obtained at 13h00 2021-07-26 using the following iNaturalist API link:

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 or uploaded to the Recorder-Lux database. It was implemented by Armand Turpel.

Example of a Recorder-Lux alert message

Here are your latest messages from MNHN Indicia Warehouse

Survey Date Taxon Spatial Ref. Recorded by Email Record Status Verified By
General Recording 03/07/2021 Procyon lotor 61817, 92092 Roland Proess Pending verification

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.

 Page content last updated on 2021-08-16. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2021-08-16.

First sighting of Vespa velutina nigrithorax in 2021

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.

 Page content last updated on 2021-06-18.

Vespa velutina nigrithorax – Press release of 28/09/2020

Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)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.

Left: European Hornet (Vespa crabro). Right: Yellow-legged Asiatic Hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax). © Éric Darrouzet.

 Page content last updated on 2020-10-21. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2020-09-30.

Invasive alien freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbii spotted in Upper Sûre Lake

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.

Craspedacusta sowerbyi by OpenCageIt 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: .

Original of the press release by the Nature and Forestry Administration / Water Management Administration

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.

 Page content last updated on 2020-10-13. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2020-09-30.

Publication of leaflets on Fallopia japonica and Impatiens glandulifera

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).

More information on → Japanese knotweed and → Himalayan balsam in Luxembourg.



 Page content last updated on 2020-04-06.

Invasive Alien Species in Europe app

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:

App Download:

 Page content last updated on 2020-02-27.

Conference NEOBIOTA 2020 @ Vodice, Croatia

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?

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.

Public consultation on action plans for invasive alien species

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

    1. Alopochen aegyptiacus: Egyptian goose, ouette d’Égypte, Nilgans (PDF 1,7 MO)
    2. Elodea nuttallii: Nuttall’s Waterweed, élodée de Nuttall, Schmalblättrige Wasserpest (PDF 1,3 MO)
    3. Heracleum mantegazzianum: Giant hogweed, berce du Caucase, Riesen-Bärenklau (PDF 1,3 MO)
    4. Impatiens glandulifera: Himalayan Balsam, impatiente de l’Inde, Drüsiges Springkraut (PDF 1,4 MO)
    5. Myocastor coypus: Coypu, ragondin, Nutria (PDF 2 MO)
    6. Ondatra zibethicus: Muskrat, rat musqué, Bisamratte (PDF 1,9 MO)
    7. Orconectes limosus: Spinycheek crayfish, écrevisse américaine, Kamberkrebs (PDF 3 MO)
    8. Pacifastacus leniusculus: Signal crayfish, écrevisse de Californie, Signalkrebs (PDF 3 MO)
    9. Procyon lotor: Raccoon, raton laveur, Waschbär (PDF 2,4 MO)
    10. Pseudorasbora parva: Topmouth, goujon asiatique, Blaubandbärbling (PDF 1,2 MO)
    11. 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]

 Page content last updated on 2020-01-24.

Parliamentary question of 5th September 2019 regarding the European list of invasive alien species

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.

Question 1

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):

  1. Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
  2. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
  3. Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
  4. Nuttall’s waterweed (Elodea nuttallii)
  5. Parrot’s feather (Myriophylum aquaticum)

Animals (9 species):

  1. Spiny-cheek crayfish (Orconectes limosus)
  2. Signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)
  3. Topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva)
  4. Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)
  5. Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)
  6. Coypu (Myocastor coypus)
  7. Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)
  8. Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
  9. Red eared slider (Trachemys scripta).

Question 2

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

  1. prevention,
  2. early detection and rapid eradication,
  3. management,
  4. awareness and training.

There are two scenarios:

  1. the establishment of emerging species and any new invasive alien species detected on national territory is prevented;
  2. 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.

Original documents

parliamentary question n°1160 of 5 September 2019
parliamentary question n°1160 – reply of 7 October 2019

 Page content last updated on 2019-12-19. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-12-19.

Field Guide to Invasive Alien Species in European Forests

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.