Praying mantis eats murder hornet in frightening video

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING

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.

ASIA'S 'MURDER HORNET' LANDS IN US FOR FIRST TIME

The video emerged after widespread reports that the Asian giant hornets, the world’s largest hornets, have arrived in the U.S.

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.

In this Dec. 30, 2019, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, a dead Asian giant hornet is photographed in a lab in Olympia, Wash. The world's largest hornet, a 2-inch long killer with an appetite for honey bees, has been found in Washington state and entomologists are making plans to wipe it out. Dubbed the "Murder Hornet" by some, the Asian giant hornet has a sting that could be fatal to some humans. It is just now starting to emerge from hibernation. (Quinlyn Baine/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)

In this Dec. 30, 2019, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, a dead Asian giant hornet is photographed in a lab in Olympia, Wash. The world's largest hornet, a 2-inch long killer with an appetite for honey bees, has been found in Washington state and entomologists are making plans to wipe it out. Dubbed the "Murder Hornet" by some, the Asian giant hornet has a sting that could be fatal to some humans. It is just now starting to emerge from hibernation. (Quinlyn Baine/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)

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.

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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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.