Cuckoo spit

I went into the garden to check on my spiders and found the Golden Penda on the point of blooming. On closer inspection, I found bunches of white bubbles scattered throughout the tree and next to this one, the culprit. This brown insect with the attractively turned-up nose, is a Spittlebug (Philagra parva). Its nymphs produce the spittle in which they hide. The spittle, sometimes called cuckoo spit, is said to reduce the risk of dehydration and to deter predators. They are not good for the tree as they suck on its sap, so I ruthlessly dispersed all the bubbles I could find. I hope this Spittlebug goes elsewhere.
I think you're a much kinder gardener than me... I would have taken the photo, killed the bug then removed the bubbles!
Great photo of her with the bubbles though. Well spotted. Hope they haven't done too much damage.
posted April 21st, 2011  
I love your caption! I wasn't sure what the pic was going to be. LOL! I've seen some yucky stuff like that on plants in the field. I wonder if we have Spittlebugs. I'll have to look it up. Strange looking little insect! Great capture! :0)
posted April 21st, 2011  
Ooh you are a tough one. They are kind of cute but the health of your tree tops their cuteness. Great shot of the "nosey" little guy.
posted April 21st, 2011  
Ahhh so that's what it is! I saw these bubbles recently and wondered what the hell it was from.

Great capture as always Robin.
posted April 21st, 2011  
robin, you are a regular 411 :) that is a phone number in the states the we call for information...so it is an expression that we use when people have all the answers for us. well done...you impress me daily.
posted April 21st, 2011  
Those are quite common in the mountains of California. Nice capture.
posted April 21st, 2011  
@robinwarner Thanks Robin. That's so funny. I shall have to get my friends and family to start calling me Agent 411.
posted April 21st, 2011  
@robinwarner @girlie Agent 411!! I like that! Robin, that fits you, perfectly!!
posted April 21st, 2011  
Great capture! When bugs like that appear in the Greenhouse, we have to hit them hard with hose spray to rid of them.
posted April 21st, 2011  
how interesting and unusual! Hope he disappears but thanks for sharing
posted April 21st, 2011  
Wow how interesting. I learn so much from you.
posted April 21st, 2011  
Nice shot Agent 411, I have learned something new today :)
posted April 21st, 2011  
@bobfoto Thanks Jason. I bet you'll find this in your garden if you check it out, too. They get into my Golden Penda every year.
posted April 21st, 2011  
Wonderful shot and the info..
posted April 21st, 2011  
@girlie - now that you mention it, I reckon I did see some spit in the Penda earlier in the season. Must check it out whenever I get home again...
posted April 21st, 2011  
I saw some bubbles in a tree the other day and wondered if they were eggs - I should have looked closer. Great capture Robin
posted April 21st, 2011  
Hmmm. I've seen spittle like that on plants in the woods. I never knew what caused it. Next time I'll look closer to see if I can find the culprit.
posted April 21st, 2011  
Definitely have spittle bugs around here. Not so much a problem for gardens. They tend to stay in the open space chaparral areas. Nice shot! Usually I only see the spittle not the adult.
posted April 21st, 2011  
wow - you get some odd critters up north Robin - you have an eagle eye however - good spotting.
posted April 21st, 2011  
I'm glad you took a picture before removing it, so interesting!
posted April 21st, 2011  
Eweee. Very odd.
posted April 21st, 2011  
Strange bug but great shot!
posted April 21st, 2011  
Great shot! I'd have done the same!
posted April 21st, 2011  
Fantastic shot and story!
posted April 21st, 2011  
as always great colors and the details are amazing
posted April 21st, 2011  
Wonderful pic!
posted April 21st, 2011  
Another great macro. We have spittlebugs here as well, but they are green in color, interesting.
posted April 24th, 2011  
This is so interesting. I don't think I've ever seen a spittlebug. Great capture.
posted April 25th, 2011  
Again, details and colors are awesome.
posted April 26th, 2011  
Leave a Comment
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.