Well, that wasn’t pretty.
A video emerged online that showed an Asian murder hornet being attacked by a praying mantis that eventually eats the insects brain.
The New York Post shared the brief clip that showed the two insects inside what appears to be a small, white box. The praying mantis wastes little time and grabs hold of the invasive hornet and doesn’t let go until it eats the insect’s brain.
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The gruesome video was released as the U.S. monitors the hornet’s spread. Washington state has reported evidence of their arrival, which raises concerns about the honeybee population in the country. These 2-inch hornets have been known to decimate hives and have been blamed for up to 50 deaths a year in Japan. It is believed that the hornets may have reached the U.S. on a shipping container.
Officials have been appealing to the public to inform authorities if they come in contact with the hornet in hopes to contain any additional spread. CBS News reported that two of these hornets were spotted in Blaine, Wash., and another in British Columbia. Officials have been working with states to try and pinpoint their location and eradicate them.
Jennifer Tsuruda, an assistant professor for entomology at the Univerisity of Tennessee, told WKRN.com that the main threat is to the honeybee population.
“These hornets are really good about preying on honeybee colonies and when they get into a colony, they will destroy and decimate the colony,” she said. She said Tennessee should not panic.
The New York Times reported that European honeybees are the most common pollinator in the U.S., and they seem to be at more risk than their Japanese cousins. When a murder hornet enters a Japanese honeybee hive, they risk being “cooked alive,” because the bees can swarm into a ball and, through vibrations, produce heat that can kill the hornet.
“The honeybee in Japan has adapted with this predator and learned through generations to protect themselves,” Ruthie Danielsen, a beekeeper in Birch Bay, Wash., told the Times. “Our honeybees, the predator has never been there before, so they have no defense.”