Can a praying mantis really kill a snake?
The praying mantis is easily one of the most fascinating insects on Earth. Their unique appearance combined with a seemingly unsatiable appetite make for one of the most terrifying, if small predators around. Everyone has seen a praying mantis eat birds before. Every year someone photographs one eating a hummer off their bird feeder.
We have also heard about a praying mantis catching and eating small fish before. While the diet of the mantis is usually grounded in the insect kingdom, it seems their appetite knows no bounds. If they can catch it, they will eat it.
Case in point this amazing short piece of footage of a praying mantis and a small snake squaring off. The snake obviously does not realize the danger it is in, until it is too late.
We are willing to grant that this was an extremely small snake. Still, this is an extremely impressive kill for a praying mantis. This insect has also been observed to sometimes eat frogs and small lizards if one is unlucky enough to pass by close enough to grab. Once those forelimbs lock into something, it is not getting free until the mantis decides to let go, and usually that is after it is mostly eaten.
The video does cut off a bit suddenly. We were curious to see how much of the snake this mantis ate. They are known for consuming large meals, but this one was larger than most. It speaks to the strength of the mantis that the snake was not able to wriggle its way out of this scenario.
People who hate snakes may have enjoyed this one, others may have found it a bit difficult to watch. However, this is the food chain in action. We are just glad that praying mantises do not grow to a size large enough to prey upon humans, because we would probably be on the menu!