Evangeline Cummings, assistant provost and director of University of Florida Online in Gainesville, shared the footage via Twitter and asked for help figuring out just what was going on.
At one point in the now-viral clip, the coral snake thrashes wildly, either in an attempt to chase off the yellow jacket or in response to a sting from the insect:
Um ok, @UFEntomology and @MartaWayneUF , I believe I just witnessed a BEE 🐝 stinging a CORAL SNAKE 🐍 while the CORAL was dining on a RAT (?) SNAKE 🐍 and I need your support to process this. @UF #FloridaBackyard pic.twitter.com/djbJJGxaUk— Evangeline Cummings (@EvieCummings23) October 17, 2019
A doctoral candidate at the university replied:
Youch! Even venomous snakes don't like yellow jacket stings. Although coral snakes aren't great climbers, I'm sure a free meal was good motivation. The yellowjacket- which also love meat- must have thought they had claim to it!— Natalie Claunch (@heart2herp) October 18, 2019
It’s not clear how the dead snake got into the rose bush or if it was dead when the coral snake found it. But after chatting with experts on Twitter, Cummings settled on a theory:
So we’ve now settled on our favorite theory: rat snake was dropped by a hawk or similar and landed in the rosebush. (But the rat snake is somewhat twisted around the branches so I wonder if when I was dropped it was still partially alive and tried to free itself and could not.🤔)— Evangeline Cummings (@EvieCummings23) October 20, 2019
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.