Spittlebugs Insect Facts and Photos

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Spittlebug Insect meadow Spittlebug,  Philaenus spumarius, is found in North America and Europe. Shown here are two of the 11 color variations Length about 0.2 inches (5-6 mm). Cercopis vulnerata is from Europe. Length 0.3-0.4 inches (9-11 mm).

Spittlebug Insect Facts:

  • Common name:  spittlebugs (froghoppers, cuckoo – spit insects)
  • Family:Cercopidae
  • Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
  • Order:Hemiptera
  • class/subphylum: Insecta/ Hexapoda
  • Number of species: About 2,400 (54 us)
  • Size: From about 0.12 in (3 mm) to 0.8 in (20 mm)

Key features: Rather squat body shaped like a miniature frog, with powerful hind legs for jumping long distances in relation to body size; either brownish or with bright warning colors; forewings leathery and colored; tibiae cylindrical (unlike the similar-looking leafhoppers, which have tibiae with an angular cross section); nymphs easily recognizable, living in a mass of froth

Habits:Normally found sitting on food plants; many adults not noticeable unless they jump

Breeding:Females lay eggs in crevices on or near food plants, or directly into soil; some produce protective secretion around eggs

Diet: Some adults feed from parts of plants growing above ground, as do many nymphs; others fee from plant roots

Habitat: Meadows, gardens, grassland, forests moors, mountains, and deserts

Distribution: Worldwide, with may temperate species.

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