Man worried he's captured 'enormous' Asian hornet amid invasion warning - how to spot them

Asian Hornet
You should be on high alert for Asian hornets -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Asian hornets are far from the average wasp and present a significant hazard.

You're strongly encouraged to report any sighting of them through the 'Asian Hornet Watch' app, or via an online form or email. TikTok user @midlifecrisis101x reportedly spotted one in his home, describing the intruder as "enormous", adding "you can see its face, it's huge! ". The discovery came with a good dose of terror as his dog nearly consumed the creature.

The individual wanted to illustrate just how large these invaders could be, confessing they were "going to let this go". This is contradictory to expert advice which advocates for reporting any sightings promptly due to increased warnings by the Chief Plant Health Officer.

Despite the fear, he humorously added they were going to run away once setting the creature free. Skeptical commenters questioned whether the claimed intruder was an Asian hornet at all, and directed the man towards the official government recording platform for such sightings, stating: "This is in fact our native species but for future reference Asian hornet: UK sightings gov website records all nests and singular sightings which are subsequently destroyed."

The terrifying post sparked quite a few reactions resulting in comments like: "Are you telling me that THING is flying around the UK right now? ? ? ? ? ? I'M LEAVING! ! Why on EARTH would you let that go! ! ", and another suggesting they'd "collapse" if ever faced with such a predicament.

The TikToker was unsure whether the hornet he captured was a European or Asian hornet, but most viewers agreed it was likely the former. The content creator stated that if it was indeed a European hornet, it was "fine to let it go".

However, it's crucial to be able to identify an Asian hornet due to their invasive nature and potential harm. Distinguishing between the two species can be tricky, but The British Beekeepers Association suggests asking yourself three questions: 'Does it look very black?', 'Has it got a wide orange stripe on the 4th segment of the abdomen?' and 'Do its legs look as if they have been dipped in yellow paint?'.

Asian hornets are characterised by their dark brown or black velvety bodies, yellow leg tips, and a black or brown abdomen with a typically yellow or orange fourth section. Queens can measure up to 30mm, while workers can reach 25mm.

According to the RSPB, "The European Hornet is much larger than the Asian Hornet, with workers measuring 25mm and the queens often reaching 35mm. Asian Hornets are generally between 20-24mm, only slightly larger than the Common Wasp."

If you spot an Asian Hornet, report it via the app, which can be downloaded on the Apple Store here, or the Google Play store here. Alternatively, photos and videos can be emailed to: Please ensure you include full location details. Or, use the online reporting form.