Vespa velutina

Vespa velutina

Vespa velutina side by Siga (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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A close up of a Vespa velutina Asian hornet on some wood
Vespa velutina side by Siga (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 8
Vespa velutina is a species of hornet indigenous to South-East Asia. They're invasive to the UK and a deadly predator of honey bees and other beneficial insects. They're distinctively different when compared with the more yellow, European Hornet. Asian Hornets are slightly smaller, mostly black, with some orange-brown banding on the abdomen.
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Traits

Hunt bees and other beneficial insects.

Appearance

Adults: Queens can reach 3cm, but generally, are around 2.5cm. The body is mostly velvety black, but there's one prominent yellow/tan band on the abdomen. The face is orange, but the legs and antennae are yellow. European hornets are a little bigger, reaching 3-3.5cm. European species are mostly yellow-bodied, however, they lack yellow antennae or legs (unlike the Asian Hornet).

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Vespidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

South-East Asia; introduced to Europe.

Biological treatment

Please don't try to remove nests alone. Sightings must be reported to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. If a sighting is confirmed, then the National Bee Unit (NBU) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) must be contacted to remove and eradicate the nest.

Chemical treatment

These hornets can become aggressive when threatened; it's recommended to contact either the National Bee Unit (NBU) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) who will professionally remove the nest once a sighting has been confirmed by an expert.

Attracts

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