Friday, June 3, 2011

Gaudy Froghopper

Several bloggers have recently posted images of this gaudy little froghopper Cercopis vulnerata, which reminded me that it's a long time since I've seen one - until today. This was one of several amongst the leaves of rose-bay willow herb.

Unlike the familiar brown froghoppers whose larvae develop in a frothy mass of 'cuckoo spit' on plant stems, this species' larvae develop underground on plant roots, where several huddle together in a patch of solidified froth - perhaps on the roots of the rose-bay willow herb plants.

2 comments:

  1. An eye-catching insect: do you think the striking colours are a warning of a bad taste, or mimicking something else? At Yaverland, IoW I've seen these on nettles but never so close-up as this!

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  2. Hi Rob., I guess it must be mimicking a ladybird, without producing the ladybird's pungent defensive secretions. I was surprised at how well this froghopper can fly on a hot day - much more mobile in that respect than the typical brown species..

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