I saw an extreme amount of spittle bugs not only on grasses and plants but on flowers.
Observation by Brandie Radigan:
I saw an extreme amount of spittle bugs not only on grasses and plants but on flowers. In discussing it with the local farmer, he said that he has never seen this many. Although he knew they wouldn't hurt plants he did wonder what eats the spittle bugs and if this will lead to an increase in their predators and if any of them could cause damage to crops. I offered to submit and send him a response.
Comment by Derek Sikes:
I've copied an entomologist I know, Ashleigh Whiffin, from the UK who might know which spittle bug species this is likely to be.
Comment by Ashley Wiffin, Curator of the Entomology, National Museum Edinburgh Scotland:
I'm afraid I don't (know the type of Spittle bug), but I can put you in touch with the right person. Dr Alan Stewart (CC'd) runs the national recording scheme for leafhoppers and related groups. Alan - if you have time would you mind taking a look at this record please? Spittle bug widespread in Clare, Ireland - Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network (leonetwork.org)
Comment by Dr. Alan Stewart, University of Sussex, England:
Judging by the plant it is feeding on, this will almost certainly be Philaenus spumarius, sometimes known as the Meadow Spittlebug. The froghoppers/spittlebugs are quite conveniently divided into ecological groupings based on the plants they feed on: Philaenus spumarius feeds on herbaceous dicotyledonous plants; all four Neophilaenus species feed on grasses, sedges and rushes, whilst all four Aphrophora species feed on trees and other woody perennials. Occasionally there is a bit of cross-over, but it’s rare. Hope that’s useful.
Comment by LEO Network Editors:
Very helpful!! Thank you Ashley, Alan and Derek for your knowledge sharing and Brandie for your observation.