Insects

Praying mantis eats murder hornet in frightening video

Want to see a praying mantis crack open a murder hornet’s head and gnaw its brain out? It happened. Graphic viral video shows a praying mantis snatch one of the hornets from behind, hold its deadly stinger at bay and chew through its entire head. The video emerged after widespread reports that the Asian giant hornets, the world’s largest hornets, have arrived in the U.S. Whoops! We couldn’t access this Tweet. They can grow to be up to 2 inches long, and they are a major threat to honeybees — crucial pollinators that are already in decline. But the 57-second video shows a larger praying mantis making a quick meal out of the bug. 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, according to Washington State University. The hornets are also potentially deadly to humans — capable of breaking through beekeeper suits — although health experts say the number of people they sting who need medical attention is small. Washington’s Department of Agriculture said last week it would begin trapping queens of the new species this spring in an effort to prevent its population from establishing. Chris Looney, an entomologist working on the state’s search for the hornets, told The Associated Press that the hype about the invasive species may not be as bad as it seems — just two dead specimens were found in the state in December 2019, and a live nest in Canada was wiped out in September, according to experts. The praying mantis is a powerful predator in its own right — there are dozens of videos on YouTube and elsewhere online showing them capturing and consuming insects, lizards, birds and small mammals. They range in size from 1/2 to 6 inches long, and females are even known to cannibalize their mates, according to National Geographic.

Click on the text above to watch the video of this Asian murder hornet vs the praying mantis.

Killer Asian Giant Hornets Discovered in U.S. for First Time

Beekeepers are fretting about a deadly threat from Asia. Deadly hornets from Asia that measure up to 2 inches long have been found for the first time in the U.S., with researchers worried that the insects are colonizing, the New York Post reported Saturday. The “murder hornets,” as the aggressive insects are known, can wipe out bee colonies within hours and have stingers long and powerful enough to puncture beekeeping suits, according to the paper. In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year, according to The New York Times. In the state of Washington, beekeepers have already seen the hornets devastate their hives, according to the paper. The hornet has a distinctive look, with a cartoonishly fierce face featuring teardrop eyes like Spider-Man, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger and broad, wispy wings like a small dragonfly, The Times reported. “This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Washington state entomologist Chris Looney told The Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.” The Bellingham Herald in Washington reported Saturday that the State Department received and verified four reports of Asian giant hornets near Blaine and Bellingham in December 2019. Those were the first sightings of the hornets in Washington state and the U.S. Members of the Mt. Baker Beekeepers Association have put up traps and are monitoring them as part of the state’s efforts to find and kill the invasive pests, the paper reported. The hornet dwarfs other winged insects, making the yellow-head bumblebee, bald-faced hornet and western yellowjacket seem small in comparison, and even when compared to the burly bumblebee, according to the Herald.

For more about these little bastards, click on the text above.