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As formidable as the Praying Mantis is, it does have its natural enemies. One of the most deadly is its fellow insect hunter, the Asian Giant Hornet.

A native of Japan, the giant hornet averages 2 inches in length with a near 3 inch wingspan. This may be smaller in length than an average mantis but the massive bulk of the giant hornet and its heavy exterior can overpower even a fairly large mantis. The tank-like build of the hornet is quite imposing compared to the more lean and lightly built praying mantis. The only advantage the mantis may have is its quick-striking forelegs.
 
The giant hornet, however, is armed with limb crushing jaws shaped like the edges of steel cutters.  
 
Its ¼ inch stingers that can dart out multiple times with a highly potent and paralyzing dose of poison that have been known to kill even humans if applied multiple times!  
 
The hornet's power of flight is an impressive 25 miles per hour! 
 
In addition, its exoskeleton is made of steel compared to the mantis’ featherweight exterior.
 
A small group of giant hornets can kill 30 thousand honey bees in about 3 hours while raiding their nest. They are built to kill! Look at it this way, even a world class sprinter has a small chance of escaping an attack of ticked-off giant hornets!

Add to that an unparalleled ferocity and a fearless, unrelenting aerial attack, the giant hornet makes for a natural hunter of the mantis. Even when caught in the mantid’s forelegs, the width and strength of the hornet allows it to be able to wriggle, bite and sting the mantis, who can suddenly be intimidated and may flee.
 
 The giant hornet’s speed and determination will chase the shaken mantid, imposing its will, till eventually decapitating and consuming the victim. It can be a sad site to see.
 
There is video- taped documentation of these encounters. 
 
The only mantis that I know that can probably match the giant hornet maybe the African Mantid, with its stronger build, over-sized forelegs and naturally tougher and more aggressive disposition than the European and Chinese Mantis.

If there is anyone who has witnessed a mantid defeat one these giant hornets, please feel free to share at comments@theprayingmantis.org (your email will not be published or displayed)
 
By Noy Ilao