On a scale of “normal to Florida”, where would you rank this video of a coral snake eating a dead rat snake while a yellowjacket wasp launches an aerial attack?

Assistant provost and director of University of Florida Online, Evangeline Cummings, posted the clip to Twitter recently asking for a bit of assistance processing the unusual sighting filmed in her backyard in Gainesville. SciTwitter rushed to her aid with input on the video.

Coral snakes spend most of their time underground and are rarely seen, so the fact that the striped predator was out in the daylight was more of a surprise to most than its chosen meal (which forms a normal part of the coral snake’s diet). Some commenters also pointed out that coral snakes are not the best climbers, so watching one scale a rose bush to nab a meal is unusual.

The presence of a wasp was an added plot twist we didn’t know we needed. "I never thought a yellowjacket wasp would then join the fray," Cummings told Science Alert. "That wasp just showed up while I was filming and it looked as though it stung the coral snake." Yellowjackets are carnivores and will feast on carrion if it’s available, so it’s likely that this brazen individual was defending a meal it felt could not be shared with another predator.

Opinions are divided about whether the wasp actually stung the coral snake, but it was certainly agitating its mealtime rival. California Polytechnic State University herpetologist Emily Taylor was confident that the snake's thrashing showed that it had taken a hit, as was Natalie Claunch from the University of Florida. Based on the wasp’s movements, entomologist Andrew Warren was not convinced, but pointed out that the “snake clearly wanted it [the wasp] gone.”

Initially deterred by the yellowjacket, the coral snake returned to the scene of the action a little later in the day, but remained closer to the ground and kept its distance from the marauding wasps.

It’s unclear how the rat snake wound up in the rose bush and whether or not the coral snake played any part in its demise, but Cummings has an appealing theory: