EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 10 - 2007 Num. article: 2007/197

Vespa velutina: a new invasive alien species found in France

In November 2005, an unusually large Hymenoptera (3 cm long) was collected in a private garden, on a fruit of Diospyros kaki at Nérac, Lot-et-Garonne, in France. The insect was identified as Vespa velutina (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), a hornet of Asian origin which is a predator of social insects, and in particular of honey bees (Apis mellifera). V. velutina is widespread in Asia and is recorded in the following countries: Bhutan, China (including Hong Kong), India, Indonesia (Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi), Korea Republic, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam. Concerning its potential danger to man, V. velutina is not considered to be more aggressive than the European hornet, Vespa crabro.
Since its first discovery in France, V. velutina has rapidly spread in the south west of France. Its presence has now been reported in Aquitaine (Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques), Limousin (Corrèze) Midi-Pyrénées (Gers, Hautes-Pyréenées, Lot, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne) and Poitou-Charentes (Charente, Charente-Maritime). More studies are needed to evaluate its impact on honey bees and other pollinating insects, as well as on its possible competition with V. crabo. V. velutina is now considered as established in France and being too widespread to be eradicated.


Anonymous (2007) Phyto-régions. Aquitaine et Midi-Pyrénées. Le frelon asiatique s’installe. Phytoma – La Défense des Végétaux no. 3, p 3.
Haxaire J, Bouguet JP, Tamisier JP (2006) Vespa velutina Lepeletier 1836, une redoutable nouveauté pour la faune de France (Hym., Vespidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France 111(2), p 194. http://inpn.mnhn.fr/fichesEspece/Vespa_velutina_fichiers/Haxaire
Villemant C, Haxaire J, Streito JC (2006) Premier bilan de l’invasion de Vespa velutina Lepeletier en France (Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France 111(4), 235-238. http://inpn.mnhn.fr/fichesEspece/Vespa_velutina_fichiers/Villemant
INTERNET (last retrieved 2007-11).
Inventaire national du Patrimoine naturel. Fiche technique apicole. Vespa velutina. Frelon asiatique. http://inpn.mnhn.fr/fichesEspece/Vespa_velutina_fichiers/Mollet_Torre_2007.pdf