Can a Praying Mantis Spit in Your Eye?

Praying mantis are known to be friendly to humans as they do not cause significant harm, and many people keep them as pets. You must have heard many stories about how these insects can spit in your eyes and make you blind.

Can a Praying Mantis Spit in Your Eye? A praying mantis does not spit in your eyes to make you blind as they are not known for spitting behavior, and its saliva is not poisonous to your eyes. It is a misconception that a two-stripped walking stick that looks like a praying mantis can spit acid in your eyes and cause discomfort or pain.

They have distinctive characteristics of attaining a praying position and raptorial legs, in addition to impressive hunting skills, but they do not have poisonous acid in their bodies.

Is it true that a praying mantis spits in the eyes?

Praying mantis are carnivorous predators known to attack with their raptorial forelegs, which can act as weapons for these tiny insects while fighting for defense.

They do not spit any acidic substance or poison on the prey animals and insects because they are not poisonous creatures. These cannot make you blind by spitting acidic venom.

Do not have to worry about their spitting behavior if you have them as a pet because there are only misconceptions about these insects.

Moreover, they have different defensive strategies for fighting and killing their prey, but spitting acid is not included in those safety measures.

However, they have saliva in their mouths, but it is only for easier swallowing of the prey bodies.

So, these insects cannot throw saliva into your eyes, or their saliva is not toxic or poisonous enough to affect your eyesight badly and make you blind.

What makes you believe that a praying mantis can spit? 

Many people talk about the spitting nature of praying mantis that are supposed to make you blind, but it is a common misconception.

Moreover, there is an animal named a walking stick that looks like a mantis and is also known as a devil rider and a musk mare. It is a brownish phasmid having 1.5 to 3 inches in body length.

It has a similar body length to a praying mantis which extends from 2 to 3.5 inches. In addition, their habitats are similar as both live in trees and bushes and have green or brown colors.

In addition, they are good at hiding behind the trees’ trunks and leaves and waiting for their prey to come closer. These insects are masters of camouflage and deal with larger animals swiftly.

This two-stripped walking stick has created confusion because it is responsible for spitting acidic material into the eyes of the predator. This acidic material is highly toxic and causes blindness.

Accordingly, their bodies have two glands containing toxic material, allowing them to spray the chemicals whenever they feel the risk of attack or prey in front of them.

Anisomorpha buprestoides, having a black-striped body, can spit acidic material on the prey and cause a painful sensation.

Furthermore, this poisonous material leads to inflammation of the eyes and intense pain in the cornea and lens, which can cause blindness in the prey animals.

So, it is not the praying mantis responsible for temporary blindness, but it happens due to a two-stripped walking stick, which means you do not have to worry about it.

How do praying mantis respond to the threat without spitting?

You cannot find any species of praying mantis that spits onto their prey while fighting for their defense because they respond to threats differently.

These predatory insects have swift movements and attack precisely on prey because they keep an eye on the incoming prey. In addition, their eyes have sharp vision, and they help them see prey.

Accordingly, they can detect a prey organism from a distance of at least 40 to 55 feet and wait for them to cover the long distance and reach close to them.

These ambush hunters camouflage behind trees and attack quickly without giving a chance of retaliation as they capture prey with spiked legs.

In addition, these spikes on the forelegs allow them to maintain a strong grip and hold their body while chewing them until death.

Moreover, they also respond to the threat by biting the predator or sometimes humans when they feel a risk of attack or discomfort due to the hard grip on their tiny bodies.

They use mandibles to make efforts to break the skin layer and cause slight discomfort only because their tiny teeth cannot make deep cuts or abrasions.

They cannot sting any organism threatening their lives and territories because they lack a stinging organ and rely entirely on their mandibles and forelegs.

Do praying mantis have poisonous saliva?

Praying mantis have saliva in their mouth, which softens meat to make it suitable for swallowing and aids in digestion by these insects.

It has enzymes that help in the digestion of the food particles entering their mouth. Moreover, it can help break the complex bonds in the food molecules or meat.

In addition, it does not contain a venomous substance at all and poses no harm even if these insects spit their saliva on the prey because it cannot cause discomfort after coming in contact with skin.

These insects do not possess venom glands, making them safe for humans, but their predatory nature makes them deadly for other insects and animals.

Furthermore, it does not cause any severe reaction in your eyes even if they spit saliva towards the lens, but it does not happen commonly.

Is it safe to hold a praying mantis close to your eyes?

Many people have no idea of handling a praying mantis and holding them tightly, resulting in bites or attacks from these tiny insects.

These insects are only deadly for organisms that provide a good source of nutrition, like ants, spiders, snakes, frogs, etc. but do not harm humans.

However, some adult people try to make their children fearful of these predatory insects by telling them that these insects can spit poisonous substances into their eyes to make them blind.

This is not true but only a fake story told by parents to their children so that they avoid handling these insects. You can hold these insects close to your eyes because they do not spit acid.

There are no cases reported for blindness or poisoning of eyes by these insects, which means they do not pose any safety risk.

Furthermore, it is better to be careful of their bites because the eyes are sensitive parts of the body.

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