A praying mantis attacked and ate the head of what appeared to be a deadly “murder hornet.”
Since the Asian giant hornet – nicknamed the ‘murder hornet’ – arrived in the United States last week, reports of their deadly poison and their ability to kill people have spread rapidly.
But a video shared with Nature is Metal on Twitter showed a reported Asian giant hornet overwhelmed by a praying mantis.
Images of the gruesome downturn stopped the praying mantis a few inches from the hornet.
Images shared on Twitter showed a praying mantis attacking a reported Asian giant hornet, also known as a ‘murder horner’
Suddenly the praying mantis jumped on the unsuspecting hornet and grabbed the smaller insect between its legs.
A battle between the two insects took several seconds before the praying mantis quickly gained the upper hand.
The praying mantis immediately begins to bite the hornet’s head and within seconds an antenna decomposes.
About 20 seconds after the attack, the praying mantis brutally breaks through the hornet’s head.
The praying mantis easily overpowered the hornet and aimed at the insect’s head
The hornet’s head is eventually eaten by the praying mantis, which is a natural predator of hornets and other insects
TMZ reports that the video resurfaced after a few years due to the sudden interest.
Native to Europe, praying mantis are known to eat beetles, grasshoppers and crickets. They are a natural hornet predator.
The big hornets are native to temperate and tropical climates in East Asia, where they kill about 50 people a year.
But since November 2019, there have been several sightings of the hornets on the west coast of North America. It is unclear how they arrived.
Asian giant hornets are more than double the size of honey bees and have a wingspan of more than three centimeters.
The insects also have a large sting filled with venom containing neurotoxin, which can cause both cardiac arrest and anaphylactic shock.
Beekeeper Conrad Bérubé told The New York Times he was recently attacked by a flock of ‘murder hornets’ on Vancouver Island.
“It was as if red-hot thumbtacks were punched in my flesh,” Bérubé explained, adding that he was bleeding from the attack.
Bérubé was stabbed seven times and was lucky enough to live.
But while the hornets can be deadly to humans, entomologists are more concerned that they can kill bee populations in North America.
Pictured: A researcher is holding a dead Asian giant hornet in Blaine, Washington, in photos released by the Washington State Department of Agriculture
The insects are fierce and can decimate entire hives within hours.
Last November, a beekeeper in Washington State found “thousands and thousands” of his honey bees with torn heads.
“I couldn’t wrap my head around what that could have done,” said the keeper.
Asian giant hornets nest in the ground for most of the year, but are most active between July and November.
Now entomologists are beginning to “hunt for the hornets on a large scale” before they reproduce and are widely distributed in North America.
“This is our window,” Chris Looney, an entomologist with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, told The Times.
While leaving the Washington forests to catch the hornets, he says the task will be difficult as the hornets can fly over 20 miles per hour.
“If we can’t do it in the next few years, it’s probably not possible,” he said.