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Insect: Spittle bug, Rain tree bug, Froghopper

Find, identify & discuss the insects of SANParks
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tiggercat
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Insect: Spittle bug, Rain tree bug, Froghopper

Unread post by tiggercat » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:29 pm

Image

Does anyone have any idea what these little guys are ??
I discovered a big "bunch" of them in a coral tree in our garden last week, and they were covered in a foam nest, and today a couple have moved slightly away from the group but they are still making foam to cover themselves with individually. They are about 1 -2 cm long.
Ive never seen anything like them before, so Im hoping someone else has !!

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tiggercat
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Re: BUG ID ???

Unread post by tiggercat » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:37 pm

Here's one of the group in their foam nestImage

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Imberbe
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Re: BUG ID ???

Unread post by Imberbe » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:06 pm

It is a spittle bug, also known as a rain tree bug. The name is derived from the fluid they exude which can be seen as spittle or even rain when heavy infestations occur.

They suck the sap from the trees as their food. With the excess fluid, they create a foam nest, that protects them against predators. Both adults and nymphs do this. These on your photos are still nymphs. They can reach 30 - 35 mm.

They target Rain trees, but also Tipuanas, Acacias and the Rhus family amongst others.
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Dotty
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Re: BUG ID ???

Unread post by Dotty » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:51 pm

Thanks Imberbe interesting :clap: Here in the UK we call it the Cuckoo Spit (it arrives around the same time as the cuckoo) but it is a very plain little green bug.
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tiggercat
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Re: BUG ID ???

Unread post by tiggercat » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:10 pm

THANKS so much Imberbe for the ID :thumbs_up:
I hope they dont do any harm to the tree ~~ I may have to take the small branch off and take it to the farm adjoining !!

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Imberbe
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Re: BUG ID ???

Unread post by Imberbe » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:08 pm

:thumbs_up:

In small numbers they will not harm the tree, but in large numbers they can have a significant impact. But then again, an over population do tend to sort it self out over time.
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tiggercat
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Re: BUG ID ???

Unread post by tiggercat » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:15 pm

:thumbs_up:

Vaalboy
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Insect: Froghopper (Spittlebugs)

Unread post by Vaalboy » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:04 am

Hoping someone can assist. We live in KZN and have a big "Umbrella" tree in our front yard. One day I noticed a wet patch on our driveway which is under one of the tree branches and just thought it was as a result of recent rains. However when the rain stopped and things dried up the wet patch stayed. Looking up, I noticed what looked like wet toilet paper wrapped around a branch dripping this clear liquid. It is so far up, I can't take a photograph, but it drips a clear liquid (looks like water) continually. I was thinking along the lines of some type of fungus or parasite. It does not appear to be spreading, it's just a real pain having a wet pool on my driveway all the time.

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lee lewis
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Re: What could this be?

Unread post by lee lewis » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:57 am

Hi there!

If you go to the "Insects and Invertibrates" Forum, you will notice a thread by name of "Bug ID". Although I am no expert, I think your 'wet patch' is caused by the same insect.
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Re: What could this be?

Unread post by Phacochoerus » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:12 pm

I live in the Eastern Cape and we have a similar thing with Coral trees. They seem to weep clear drops from specific areas of the branches. I have heard locals call it 'spitbugs', sucking sap from the tree. Apparently it does not kill the host tree. Hope this very unscientific bit of information helps...

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iNkwazi
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Re: What could this be?

Unread post by iNkwazi » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:03 pm

They’re known as “spittlebugs”, and are nymphs from the insect order hemiptera (sub order homoptera, family cercopidae!).

They suck a copious quantity of sap from trees – much more than they need to feed on – then they mix most of the sap with air and a little bit of waxy substance which keeps it all together. As the foam nests get too large, they start dripping, which is why one of their other nicknames is the rain tree bug.

The spittlebugs can look a lot like tiny frogs, so they’re sometimes called froghoppers, too. They eventually develop into flying insects and then off they go until they start the cycle all over again and yet another tree gets to play host to the frothy nests.
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Re: What could this be?

Unread post by Vaalboy » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:00 pm

Awesome guys - thank you for the information and feedback.

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Re: What could this be?

Unread post by o-dog » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:11 pm

Nicely explained Inkwazi!!
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