Here are eight dangerous animals that live in France – Evening edition Ouest-France

Mosquitoes, spiders, sharks… France has several dangerous animal species, which it is better to avoid coming across. Here are eight.

No need to go to the other side of the world to risk encountering hostile species: as an article in the magazine reminds us Geo , France also has several dangerous species, which it is better to keep at a distance. Here are eight.

The Asian Hornet

Asian hornets on their nest. (Photo: Alain Jocard / AFP)

Among the 400 or so invasive species now listed in France, there is the Asian hornet, or the yellow-legged hornet, native to Asia. A black colored subspecies, Vespa velutina nigrithorax, was introduced in France around 2004, and then spread to the rest of Europe. Measuring about 2 cm, these insects are a real threat to honey bees. In fact, when they discover a hive, they attack the occupants, decapitating them with their mandibles, taking only the thorax, which is rich in protein. If, in equal quantity, the venom of the Asian hornet is not more dangerous than that of the honeybee, multiple stings, a single sting on a mucous membrane, or allergy to wasp venom can lead to medical complications. .

The black Widow

A Mediterranean black widow. (Thierry Creux / West France)

The European black widow, also called “Malmignatte” (“the bad little beast”, in Italian) or “Mediterranean black widow” makes arachnophobes shudder. Small black spider recognizable by its thirteen red dots on the abdomen, it can be seen in France, especially in Corsica, in the South, and along the Atlantic coast. Its sinister name derives from the habit of females eating the smaller males after mating. While its Australian and American cousins ​​are extremely dangerous and can cause death, the bite of the black widow spider is not fatal, but very painful. It can lead to many health problems if left untreated.

The Viper

An asp viper, at the Terrarium & Vivarium of Kerdanet, in Châtelaudren-Plouagat (Côtes-d’Armor). (Photo: Thierry Creux / Ouest-France)

The viper haunts our walks in the mountains or in the woods. In France, we mainly find the asp viper, the Péliade viper, the Orsini viper and the Pyrenees viper (or Seoane viper). The bite of this snake, although not fatal, requires the person attacked to be injected with anti-venom.

The tick

Ticks are gaining ground. (Illustrative photo: Erik Karits / Getty Images / iStockphoto)

The tick is gaining ground. Previously, forests, wooded areas and wetlands, tall prairie grasses were the places with the highest risk of encountering one. From now on, it is also present in public and private gardens. The mite, which attacks both animals and humans, can carry diseases, the best known of which is Lyme disease (15% of ticks are carriers). In the event of a bite, the tick must be removed, taking care to remove the head, which has perforated the skin, disinfect the wound and regularly monitor the skin in the days that follow, going to consult in case of itching, redness, fatigue or flu-like symptoms.

The mosquito

A tiger mosquito. (Photo: Thierry Roux / AFP)

The mosquito is the nightmare of humid summers. The tiger mosquito is one of the dangerous carriers of viruses: by biting, it can transmit diseases such as chikungunya, Zika or dengue fever. Some can be fatal if not treated in time.

The shark

It is very rare to see sharks in mainland France, but much less surprising to come across them overseas. The West Indies include in their fauna the mako, the tiger shark or the bulldog shark. If the attacks are extremely rare there, they are more frequent on the island of Reunion, which concentrates there the five species of shark considered dangerous for the man. Bulldog sharks and tiger sharks live close to the coast, while the great white shark, mako shark and oceanic whitetip shark prefer deeper or temperate waters.

the long live

If the big vivacious lives in deep waters, the little vivacious has taken up residence along our coasts, in the sand, very close to the shore. The small live has venomous spines on its dorsal fin. The sting, although not fatal, is extremely painful and causes nausea, headaches, palpitations, fevers and dizziness. The venom being thermolabile, you must quickly apply heat to the affected area.


The centipede is an arthropod, more precisely a centipede, called the “thousand-footed beast” in Guadeloupe. Coming from the same family as centipedes and woodlice, it is found both in the West Indies and in the south of mainland France. The two fangs it has under its head and the venom glands just below its jaws help it better bite the insects it devours. She attacks when she feels in danger. The bite is very painful, and can cause swelling. Its consequences can be serious, depending on the bitten area, or if the victim is a child.

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