• Asian Hornet Watch app

    Asian Hornet Watch

    It is important to report any suspected sighting of Asian hornets as soon as possible.

    Vigilance is particularly required in southern parts of England and Wales and around major ports.  The Asian hornet is active mainly between April and November and is inactive over the winter.

    For quick identification, please download the Asian Hornet Watch app on either iPhone or Android free of charge.

Asian hornet look-alikes

According to the Natural History Museum, there are more than 7,000 species of wasp living in the UK, and a few of them are sometimes mistaken for the invasive Asian hornet.

The European hornet (Vespa crabro) is native to Britain and is larger than the Asian hornet. Compared to other species, European hornets are quite docile.

European hornet (Vespa crabro)
© Julian Black Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The median wasp (Dolichovespula media) is the largest non-hornet wasp native to Britain. They have yellow markings on their thorax, unlike the invasive hornet, as well as more extensive yellow on the abdomen.

Median wasp (Dolichovespula media)
© Nick Goodrum Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The giant wood wasp (Urocerus gigas) is larger than the Asian hornet and is a relative of the wasps and can be found near pine woods, or places where pine timbers are used.

Giant wood wasp (Urocerus gigas)
© bathyporeia Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The hornet mimic hoverfly (Volucella zonaria) is also known as the ‘belted hoverfly’. It is the largest hoverfly species in the UK. As its name suggests, it is an excellent mimic of the hornet, but is harmless to humans.

Hornet mimic hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)
© Peter O’Connor Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Hoverflies, also called flower flies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. As their common name suggests, they are often seen hovering around flowers.

Hover fly
© Mark Robinson Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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