Embryo, relocation and secondary nests of the invasive species Vespa velutina in Galicia (NW Spain)
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/3983
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/12/20/2781
UNESCO SUBJECT: 3104.01 Apicultura ; 2401.02 Comportamiento Animal ; 2502 Climatología
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Invasive species become established in non-native areas due to their intrinsic characteristics and the ability to adapt to new environments. This work describes the characteristics of the nesting behavior of the invasive yellow-legged hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) in Galicia (Northwest Spain). The first nest was detected in the area in 2012 and after that, the distribution pattern shows a species-invasion curve with slow progress at first but followed by rapid expansion. The nesting places for this hornet differ between the kinds of nests, while embryo nests are mainly found in buildings in spring, secondary nests are observed in vegetation in summer, autumn, and winter. The annual life cycle starts when the queen builds the embryo nests and starts to lay eggs. This leads to the emergence of the first workers, usually small in size, and sometimes a few males. After this stage, large nests called secondary nests are normally observed in most exposed sites. Relocation nests can also be observed; these are nests in the first stage of development presenting adults insects but without brood or meconium. The period of decline is characterized by the emergence of new queens and males, that are distinguishable even in the pupal stage, the appearance of two eggs per cell, and an irregular brood pattern.
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