Review of the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), in Japan and its possible chemical control

Abstract

The distribution of the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax Buysson, is expanding in Europe and Asia. In Japan, this species was first detected on Tsushima Island, near Korea, in 2012. Because the rapid expansion of its distribution has raised public concern, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment added this hornet to the list of invasive alien species in 2015. In this paper, to contribute to the development of control techniques for this hornet, we present its phylogeny and life history. We then report its global expansion history and present status. Last, we review case studies of chemical control of vespine wasps and discuss effective techniques to control the hornet on Tsushima, where many Asian honeybee hives are kept. Successful case studies with Vespula wasps suggest the possibility of toxic baiting for the control of V. velutina nigrithorax.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Yosuke Takatsuji (park ranger, Kyushu Regional Environment Office, Ministry of the Environment) for valuable comments. We also thank Dr. Shun’ichi Makino for valuable advice on raising insects for experiments. This research was supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (4-1401) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and Osimo foundation.

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Correspondence to Shigeki Kishi.

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Kishi, S., Goka, K. Review of the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), in Japan and its possible chemical control. Appl Entomol Zool 52, 361–368 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13355-017-0506-z

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Keywords

  • Honeybee
  • Insect growth regulator
  • Toxic baiting
  • Invasive pest
  • Social insect