Asian Hornet

Welcome to the Asian Hornet identification and reporting page of T&TVBKA. The aim of this page is to help people confirm a sighting and identification of an Asian Hornet and in the event of a positive identification to help compile evidence to send to the Non Native Species Secretariat.

The Asian Hornet is a highly effective predator of honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, other native species and potentially ecosystems.

If you see an Asian Hornet you should report it to the  Non Native Species Secretatiat (NNSS,   alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk ).  However, the NNSS will only take action when they get solid evidence of the Asian Hornet ie. a photo of the hornet or a hornet itself. To help verify that you have seen an Asian hornet, can you please check your sighting against the various images shown below as the Asian hornet has been confused with a number of similar but different species of hornets, bees and wasps. You should also download the Asian Hornet app - 'Asian Hornet Watch' from where you usually download your apps.

If after viewing the images you're not sure what you saw was an Asian Hornet, please fill in the Asian hornet sighting form below and the information you supply will be sent to the T&TVBKA Asian Hornet Action Team (AHAT) whereupon someone will contact you regarding your sighting,

The AHAT team will help identify the Asian Hornet, help collect a sample where applicable and attempt to identify the location or the general direction of the hornet's nest.

Asian Hornet

European Hornet

Asian vs European hornet comparison

Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)
Queen up to 30mm long, worker up to 25mm long
Legs yellow at the ends
Dark brown / black abdomen with a yellow / orange band on 4th segment
Head dark from above, orange from front
Dark coloured antennae
Entirely black velvety thorax
Never active at night

European hornet (Vespa crabro)
Queen up to 35mm long, worker up to 30mm long
Legs brown at the ends
Yellow abdomen marked with brown on the upper part, not banded
Head yellow from above, yellow from front
Yellow antennae
Thorax black with extensive brown markings
May be active at night

Other species confused with Vespa velutina

This is a hornet hover fly (Volucella zonaria). Almost 2 cm long, it is actually a fly. Note the large eyes and it has only two wings. It looks aggressive but is harmless. The larvae of the hoverfly can live in wasps' nests without being stung. Hoverflys eat the debris in wasps' nests.

This is a species of common wasp. Smaller than both the European hornet and the Asian hornet. More yellow than the Asian hornet.

Asian hornet sighting form

Complete the information and press the "send" button.


A photograph/image of the hornet is needed as evidence.






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