Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Vespa velutina
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
Asian predatory wasp
The Asian predatory wasp (Vespa velutina) is a species of hornet which preys on bees. It is a little bit smaller than the European hornet. The queens may be 30 mm, the males to 24 mm; the workers are about 20 mm. It has characteristic yellow legs. It is native to China.
It has become an invasive species in France where it is believed to have arrived in boxes of pottery from China in 2004. Since then the wasp has been preying on honeybees. Humans have been attacked after disturbing hornets; although the species is not aggressive it "charges in a group as soon as it feels its nest is threatened". There have been reports of people hospitalised in France after suffering anaphylactic shock as a result of multiple stings. Because of hornets' larger size, their sting is more serious than that of a bee.
The wasp has spread to northern Spain, as confirmed by the Beekeepers Association of the Basque Country (Gipuzkoako Erlezainen Elkartea) and the Neiker etimology institute in Irún, after breeding colonies were found. It has reached Portugal in 2011. Also reported as naturalised for the last 3 years or so on the Japanese island of Tsushima.
Vespa velutina nigrithorax, dark colour variant - Toulouse.
Nest of Asian predatory wasp approximately 30 feet up on a durian tree in Malaysia.
- Tourists warned as Asian hornets terrorise French, The Telegraph, August 19, 2009
- Guardian newspaper: Danger! The bee-killing Asian hornet is set to invade Britain, 17 October 2011
- Bee killing Asian hornet confirmed in Spain, The Reader, November 21, 2010
- Já foram destruídos 78 ninhos de vespa asiática em Viana do Castelo, O Público, September 28, 2013
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