Date: May 30, 2016
By: Chen Wei-han / Staff reporter
A hornet species seen across Southeast Asia was found to have settled in Taiwan, raising the number of hornet species in the nation to nine, while the impact of the introduced species on the environment is yet to be evaluated, the Forestry Bureau said last week.
According to a research team, the black shield wasp, or Vespa bicolor, has set up colonies in Taiwan, bureau researcher Lu Sheng-shan (陸聲山) said.
“The black shield wasp is widely distributed across China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India and Nepal, but the insect had not been found in Taiwan for more than a century, since the Japanese colonial period when insect collection works began. Observation has confirmed that black shield wasps attack honeybees at bee farms, and they might sting human and animals,” Lu said.
Like most wasps, the black shield wasp is a predator and pollinator, and it preys on flies, plant lice and locusts, making it an important player in pest control, but it also hunts bees and poses a threat to the beekeeping industry, he said. [FULL STORY]