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Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina

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Short description of Vespa velutina, Asian Hornet

Slightly smaller than native hornets; queens up to 30mm, workers up to 25mm.  Distinctive: thorax velvety black/dark brown; abdominal segments brown with fine yellow band, only the fourth segment almost entirely yellow-orange. Legs brown with yellow ends; head black with orange-yellow face.

Description of Vespa velutina, Asian Hornet status in GB

Presence of Asian hornet was first confirmed in UK in September 2016 and there has also been isolated records in 2017, 2018 and 2019, all nests have been eradicated to date.

Habitat summary: Vespa velutina, Asian Hornet

Mainly in areas with deciduous trees where nests are built; sometimes in or around buildings where these provide suitable nest sites.

Overview table

Environment: Terrestrial
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: China, Indian Subcontinent
Functional type: Predator
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Scotland: Non-Native
Status in Wales: Non-Native
Location of first record: Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Date of first record: 20

Distribution map

Map of the UK with areas shaded to show the UK distribution of Asian Hornet

GB Distribution from NBN Atlas

Author's name:

Marc Botham, David Hubble, Helen Roy

Last updated:

July 10th 2019

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Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark