Spittle Bugs
July 7, 2010
Dear Bug Man,
A few weeks ago I decided to find out what the clusters of white “spit” were all over the weeds on our farm.

Spittle from a Spittlebug

After gently poking a piece of straw into a ball of “spit”, a tiny little creature emerged with the face of a frog. I was thrilled to finally see the source of all that spittle and after a bit of research found out that it was a leaf hopper nymph! I thought you and others might enjoy seeing some of my photos of this tiny fellow.
Tracey Tilson
Marion, North Carolina


Hi Tracey,
Thanks so much for providing such excellent documentation of a Spittlebug, both inside and out of its home of spittle.  Spittlebugs are in the family Cercopidae.  According to BugGuide:  “
nymphs surround themselves with a frothy mass that resembles spittle” and “After the nymph molts for the final time, the resulting adult insect leaves the mass of ‘spittle’ and moves about actively.  The ‘spittle’ is derived from a fluid voided from the anus and from a mucilaginous substance excreted by epidermal glands.”  Your photos are wonderful, but we have taken the liberty of cropping them to increase the size of the insects, and in doing so, we have cut off your Wet Knee Photography copyright mark.


Hi Daniel!
I’m so happy you liked the photos of the leaf hopper nymph. It’s fine that the watermark was cropped off, as the subject of the photo is what your site is all about. I am fascinated by insects and have tons more photos to share with your site in the future.
Have a great week!
~Tracey Tilson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.