Spittle bug (Homoptera: Cercopidae) animation. Torsby, Sweden (June). I disturbed the bug and
it moved out of the spittle and then came back in. The spittle is a very nice place to be protected
from predators (ants for example). Who makes the "spit" (spittle)? Well, this little guy is only about
3 mm long at present and it made all this slimy spittle with the aid of the plant juices. The spittle
bug is in the same order as the aphids and scales which also produce secretions from fluids processed from the
host plant. For example, in the eastern USA if you park your car under trees infested with aphids you will see a
sticky residue on the car's surface after a few days due to micro-sized droplets of aphid honeydew (often collected by ants instead, see Lasius ants).
Images © 2000 by John A. Byers, Chemical Ecology.