Praying mantis is being hailed as the saviour from the onslaught of the murder hornets in the US, after a video of a mantis devouring the killer hornet went viral. The invasive Asian giant hornet was first spotted in the Washington state last week.
The Washington State University stated that the predatory hornets nest in the ground and are known to attack honeybee hives and kill the adult bees inside before feasting on larvae and pupae. However, potentially deadly to the humans, its sting can be treated medically.
Praying mantis triumphs over murder hornet
A video posted on twitter by Nature is Metal showed a praying mantis and murder hornet placed inside a box. The 57-second clip has gone viral with over 4.5 million views since it was posted.
Locked in a battle of life and death, the mantis could be seen grabbing the hornet from its neck as it struggles to be freed. However, not one to let go, the mantis then tightens its hold as hornet turns its back.
The captor then goes on to devour its catch by eating the hornet's head. However, the hornet fights a tough battle before going down by repeatedly trying to sting the mantis.
Praying mantises, who are known to eat their partner after mating, feast on other insects including moths, crickets, and grasshoppers, as well as frogs, lizards, snakes and even birds.
Murder Hornet: mass murderer of bees
The murder hornet, which grows up to two inches in length, is capable of killing a human being with its repeated venomous stings. Fox News reported that the Asian giant hornet has been spotted for the first time in United States, after bee keepers found piles of dead bees with their heads ripped off. "They're like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face," Susan Cobey, a bee breeder at the Washington State University's department of entomology, was quoted by the publication.
However, experts are still working over how the killer hornet landed on US soil. Speaking to WSU's Insider, Seth Truscott with WSU's college of agricultural, human and natural resource sciences pointed at the possibility of hornet being transported in international cargo.
"Hornets are most destructive in the late summer and early fall, when they are on the hunt for sources of protein to raise next year's queens. They attack honey bee hives, killing adult bees and devouring bee larvae and pupae, while aggressively defending the occupied colony. Their stings are big and painful, with a potent neurotoxin. Multiple stings can kill humans, even if they are not allergic," he said.