By now, if you haven't heard about Asian giant hornets — nicknamed murder hornets — invading the US, then you probably are living an innocent, "insect nightmare"-free existence under lockdown. The rest of us are wondering when murder hornet swarms will attack the minute we decide to go outside to walk our dogs or take the trash out.
For a quick primer, murder hornets were recently spotted in Washington state; they are 2 inches long; and can sting through protective beekeeping suits. Their venom is equivalent to that of a venomous snake, and they can sting multiple times.
They also destroy honeybee colonies in a short amount of time; and decapitate the bees and eat their bodies.
But thankfully, a saviour has arrived. It seems that another insect could be a big threat to Asian giant hornets — the praying mantis. In a video that went viral on social media this week, a praying mantis not only attacks a murder hornet, but chomps on its brains.
The short video begins with the mantis remaining motionless while its multiple eyes carefully watches the murder hornet. The mantis suddenly pounces on the hornet, and holds it in place with its long front legs. Finally, the mantis pecks at the hornet's head until it eventually eats the hornet's noggin, brains and all. Yum.
More murder hornets
- Murder hornets are killing off bees and invading our nightmares
- Murder hornet munchies: The horrifying insect makes a tasty treat
- How The Simpsons predicted 'murder hornets' and the coronavirus pandemic
Praying mantises are known for eating other insects like moths, crickets, and grasshoppers, as well as frogs, lizards, snakes and even birds. Heck, praying mantises even eat each other after mating.
So it's a relief to know that murder hornets are also on their menu.
On that note, humans could always help out by eating murder hornets too. People living in the central Chubu region of Japan enjoy eating the murder hornets — as well as wasps and bees. They also drown the insects in liquor for an extra buzz.
But if you don't plan on making murder hornet tacos anytime soon, it's nice to know praying mantises have our backs.
As expected, people posted their appreciation on social media for the praying mantis that murdered the murder hornet.
"Murder hornet? Pssh. More like Murdered Hornet," one person tweeted.
"The Praying Mantis is the new savior of 2020!" another person tweeted.