Evasion from imminent threats and prey attack are opposite behavioral choices critical to survival. The lateral periaqueductal gray (LPAG) is a key player in these behaviors, it responds to social threats and prey hunting while also driving predatory attacks and active defense. Our results revealed that distinct neuronal populations in the LPAG drive prey hunting and evasion from social threats. We show that the LPAG provides a putative glutamatergic projection to the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA). LPAG > LHA pathway optogenetic inhibition impaired insect predation but did not alter escape/attack ratio during social defeat. The results suggest that the LPAG control over evasion to a social attack may be regarded as a stereotyped response depending probably on descending projections. Conversely, the LPAG control over predatory behavior involves an ascending pathway to the LHA that likely influences LHAGABA neurons driving predatory hunting and may provide an emotional drive for appetitive rewards.