I am currently on holiday in southern France and have noticed that the house we are staying in has somewhat of a hornet/wasp problem.

Is there anybody that can help in identifying it? My best guess is a European Hornet but I'm no expert so may be wrong.

Below are some pictures. Sorry they couldn't have been of any clearer quality, they were taken through a window, and I didn't particularly feel like going out to get any closer because I've heard that some hornets can be quite aggressive even if unprovoked.

From what I saw, it has visible fur, and is around 2cm in length. The feature that led me to it being a Hornet is that the waist gets smaller before the abdomen.

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2 Answers 2


This looks like a European hornet Vespa crabro to me. Wasp-like appearance, red on head and thorax and base of the abdomen. And the legs are red/dark, not yellow.

enter image description here
Picture from wikipedia

Hornets can be aggressive, especially if you come near the nest. Usually, European hornets are actually not really interested in people (unlike other wasps). But if there are many around your house, it is likely the nest is near, so be careful and perhaps contact the owner of the house.

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    $\begingroup$ Ahh thank you! We just found their nest in the roof of the house we're staying in for the week. I've just been reading about the social behaviour of wasps/hornets. Fascinating! We'll leave them be, no need to antagonise. Thanks again 😊 $\endgroup$
    – Reece
    Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 20:59

It is quite possible that what you are dealing with are Asian Hornets. This is a link to an article that helped me answer your question.


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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Bio. Link-only answers are considered to be comments rather than answers. Look here to a good answer on a similar question. It includes a description of the species, a photograph taken from your source and perhaps additional information. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ The link you shared explicitely says it is recognizable by its yellow legs and the picture shows a wasp with red on the abdomen. So Asian hornet? I don't think so. $\endgroup$
    – RHA
    Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 20:41

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