Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Spittle Bugs

What you see on the plants in a field — a wad of spittle on the stems or leaves of plants.

The spittle appears hexagonal
(which makes sense from the little I have read and understand about strong shapes).
Family Cercopidae

I had never heard of spittle bugs until the bug program at the library. I had seen the spittle of course, but thought it was sap naturally bubbling out of all the plants in the fields. But when Mr. Schneider showed us photos, I was amazed. So Wingnut and I went into the fields Saturday evening, found a good specimen, brought it into the house and photographed it. My last photo below is terribly unfocused when blown up like this.

This is the nymph of a spittle bug and I have not found out which species. But I know it is not a pine spittle bug. They are not harmful. They are too small to damage plants. But if they truly bother you, hose them down. They build these little houses of spittle to protect them from predators. Any creature this clever deserves to remain in its little spit house and grow.

When clicked, these photos will open, full size, in a new window.

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  1. About a month or so ago I posted some pictures and an article about spit bugs. We see a lot here and then they are gone. Kinda interesting. MB


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