The genus name "Philaenus" comes from the Greek φιλία meaning love/ frendship, while the species name spumarius is derived by the Latin spuma = sparkling, referred to the foam nests. Therefore "Philaenus spumarius" may be translated as "foam lover." The species reaches a body length of 5–7 mm. Most females are slightly larger than the males. The coloration of the body is very variable (about 20 different colors are known). Usually they are yellowish, brownish or black, with brighter patches on a dark background, but also with dark markings on a lighter background.
These 'froghoppers' are quite common and widespread. Their original distribution was restricted to the Palaearctic ecozone. It is present in most of Europe, in North Africa, in part of Russia, in Afghanistan and in Japan. It has been introduced in North America and Canada. Found on asparagus. It is a very 'eurytopic' species, meaning that these froghoppers can tolerate a wide range of environmental factors and therefore they exist in many different habitats. They live in almost all open land habitats and in open forests. They are absent only in very wet and very dry habitats.