Vespa crabro (European Hornet) Allergen Datasheet

Scientific name: Vespa crabro

Common name: European Hornet

Family: Vespidae


The insect Vespa crabro, commonly known as the European Hornet, is present throughout Europe.

It has a length of 3.5 cm (queen) or 2.5 cm (workers) with a yellow-orange or red-brown coloring.

This insect is found in both plains and hills, most frequently in the center-south of Italy. Vespa crabro is a predator of various types of insects, including bees. They prefer to nest in hollow trees, cavities in walls, chimneys and attics. The nest is constructed with a light brown, very fragile envelope. Colonies are composed of a few hundred adults during the period of maximum development.

Distribution: Throughout  Italy.

Period of allergen exposure: from March to September/October. Exposure to the allergen occurs through the sting of the provoked or threatened insect.

Allergy testing: allergic reactions to the venom of hymenoptera can be severe enough to cause anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.

Allergic reactions can be caused either by direct sensitization from previous stings of Vespa crabro or by a cross-reaction with Vespula spp. or Dolichovespula Hornet venom. To a lesser extent, a cross-reaction has been observed with the genus Polistes spp., as well.

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