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Alien Invasive Animals
Vespa Velutina Nigrithorax is originally a southeast Asian species, accidentally introduced to France in 2004. From where it dispersed to other countries. The first records of it in mainland Portugal occurred around 2011. Its introduction in our country probably occurred accidentally and indirectly, possibly associated with the import of wood to Viana do Castelo. The species found conditions particularly favorable to its development in this region of the Iberian Peninsula, leading to a high concentrations of nests in different places.
Knowing that these hornets capture most winged insects in addition to the real and well-known damage to beekeeping, other environmental effects are yet to be assessed in our country as a whole. In addition, the occurrence of this specie in urbanized areas and the existence of nests in places at low height or even in the ground has generated some social alarm. Although the danger is sometimes exaggerated because it being a poisonous species. These occurrences have caused numerous incidents, some serious. However lack of official records regarding those stung by the species does not allow assessment of the true size of the problem.
The spreading pattern of this wasp is now relatively well known; the route of the new natural founders in the spring (several tens of km / year) and the involuntary passive expansion of founders offered by the transportation of goods (potentially without geographical limit) which originated their introduction in South Korea (2003), France (2004), Portugal (2011), among other countries. With both patterns, it appears that the implantation of new colonies is extremely reduced (1 to 3 nests). However, due to the lack of knowledge and experience of local people and local authorities, this does not allow for early detection, coupled with a lack of effective response both at a technical and administrative level. In Portugal, the Action Plan for Vespa Velutina Surveillance and Control is overseen by the national authorities and there are gaps in its operations, which has lead in most municipalities to real difficulties in dealing with this pest.