Froghoppers

Cercopidae. Spittlebugs.

The squat, froglike appearance and frothy secretions of the nymphs give these homopterans their common names. One to several individuals may live in masses of this whitish, bubbly substance ("cuckoo spit") produced from the anus and from a mucilagenous excretion from hypodermal glands on the seventh and eighth abdominal segments. The foam provides protection from enemies and desiccation (fig. 8.11c).

Adult cercopids, which do not produce spittle, are very similar to leafhoppers but tend to be broader and flatter; many are larger (BL 10-15 mm) and have only a few stout spines on the hind tibia instead of one or two rows of small spines. Members of the genus Tomapsis are large and conspicuous, with black body and wings, the latter with transverse red, orange, or yellow bands (fig. 8.1 la).

Both stages feed on plant sap, and several species damage useful plants. The best known is the sugarcane froghopper (Aeneolamia varia saccharina; fig. 8.i lb).

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