Praying mantis devours brain of murder hornet

The murder hornet may pose little, if any, threat to humans, but a video showing a praying mantis devouring one of the invasive insects like an afternoon snack has captivated social media audiences for days.

The graphic, 57-second viral video leaves nothing to the imagination as the praying mantis disables the hornet from behind, neutralizes its stinger and proceeds to eat its brain.

According to researchers at Washington State University, the aggressive hornets nest in the ground and are known to decimate honeybee hives. In turn, Washington state's Department of Agriculture said last week it would begin trapping queens of the new species this spring in an effort to prevent the population from gaining a foothold, Fox News reported.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported that the queen hornet's worker hornets begin "foraging for food, swarming beehives, cutting off bees' heads and sucking out the hive's larvae and pupae to bring back to their burgeoning nest" in late summer or early fall.

"What the hornet does is it feeds on — it preys on — honeybees," Dessie Underwood, an entomologist and the chair of Cal State Long Beach's Department of Biological Sciences told the LA Times, adding, "Just like a lion feeds on a gazelle. You don't call it a murderous lion. Everyone has to eat something."

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