List of Posionious Insects That Can Spit

Written by dawna theo
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List of Posionious Insects That Can Spit
Ants can eject poisonous acid. (ants & aphis image by Marek Kosmal from

There are many poisonous insects in the world, but only a few of them can actually spit, spray or eject their venom forcefully at the target. Mostly this strange feat is used for defence, because the insect spraying the poison wants to stop their attacker before it gets any closer. To a human, the effects of the spray can range from minor to very painful irritations depending on the insect species.

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Sugar Ants

Sugar ants are orange to brown with a black head, and are about 1/5 to 3/5-inch long, which is a relatively large size for ants. They live in urban areas, forests and deserts. Like all ants, they can use formic acid to aggravate and harm their prey and their predators. However, sugar ants take it a step further and actually spray the liquid at attackers when they are defending their nest. The acid spits out the tip of their abdomen. Many sugar ants will gang up on attackers and all spray at the same time to fight them off.

Carpenter Ants

A species of Malaysian carpenter ants (Camponotus saundersi) also can forcefully eject toxic material, especially in defence of their colony. They are even larger than sugar ants, usually ¼ to a ½-inch long. When predators or other ants attack their colonies, and the soldier ants guarding the entrance cannot stop them, the nearby ants will contract their muscles around a special gland, causing the ants to explode and releasing a sticky poison that kills the attackers.

Walking Sticks

Walking sticks, as their name suggests, look like sticks, which is a very convincing method of camouflage. They often adopt the look of a twig on their favourite food plant. However, this is not the only form of defence they have. Some have barbed legs, some have wings to make quick getaways, and others can regurgitate a disgusting liquid and spit it from their mouth. In southeastern America, a certain species of walking stick (Anisomorpha buprestoides) can spit a toxic and painful compound at predators. It always seems to be able to hit the face of the attacker, and may cause temporary blindness if it contacts the eyes.

Bombardier Beetle

Beetles, like the Bombardier beetle, cannot quickly escape predators, even though they can fly. It takes time for a beetle to unfurl its protected wings, and a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death for a beetle. The bombardier beetle has developed an extremely effective method of buying time to escape. It spits a caustic and boiling hot liquid at 100 degrees Celsius. This acid will deter the most persevering of attackers, enabling the beetle to fly away on its own schedule.

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