Spittlebugs then Froghoppers

Spittlebug and its froth
Photo credit: Katie Burkley




The common names for spittlebugs and froghoppers (family: Cercopidae) are derived from their different stages of life. When the bug is in the nymph stage it is called a spittlebug because it sucks the sap of a plant to create the froth or “spit” that we see. This froth protects the insect from the view of predators and insulates it against heat.  These two functions also help the insect from dehydrating.  When the bug transitions from nymph to adult it is called a froghopper because it can jump from plant to plant; some species can jump up to 70cm vertically.  


Spittlebug without its froth
Photo credit: Katie Burkley