European hornet

European hornet on the ground next to a squashed piece of fruit with juice leaking on to the ground

Small opening of a hornet nest with a number of European hornets emerging

Vespa crabro

Should I report?

European hornets are an invasive predatory pest that are not present in Australia. If you suspect you have found a European hornet, you must report it:

  • Call the Exotic Plant Pest hotline on 1800 084 881,
  • Submit an online form, OR
  • Email

Include a photo of the insect as part of your report.


European hornets range in size from 18–23mm and have long antennae with reddish brown wings. They have a yellow face and abdomen with black and red markings. Fine hairs cover the whole body and 6 distinguishing dots are situated parallel to each other on the abdomen.

European hornets are a social species and prefer to build their nests in dark, enclosed spaces.


European hornets have a direct impact on honey bee colonies and other native insects by consuming them or feeding them to their own brood. European hornets are also known to ring bark branches resulting in dead branches.


European hornets are native to Eurasia. They were introduced to North America in the 1800’s and are now well established there. European hornets are not found in Australia, if you suspect a European hornet you must report it (see reporting methods above).