A scientific note about a parasitoid that can parasitize the yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax, in Europe
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The yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax, was accidentally introduced from China to southwestern France in 2004 (Haxaire et al. 2006). The species is currently colonizing France and neighboring countries (Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Italy) (Darrouzet and Gévar 2012; Monceau et al. 2013). V. velutina is a pest in France because it preys upon domestic honeybees, Apis mellifera. Beekeeping operations are directly affected by this predation, with some beekeepers reporting colony losses (Darrouzet and Gévar 2012; Monceau et al. 2013).
While many factors may play a role in the successful establishment of an invasive species, research has focused on the effects of parasites (Prenter et al. 2004). It has previously been suggested that invasive species are subject to less pressure from parasites than are sympatric native species because invasive species leave their parasites behind when they invade new habitats (enemy release hypothesis). They can thus allocate more resources to...
KeywordsConopidae Conops vesicularis endoparasitoid queen death Asiatic hornet
This study received support from the local government (Région Centre, France). The authors would also like to thank A.G. Bagnères for providing helpful comments and J. Pearce for her English revisions.
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