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Spittlebug (spittle foam)

Family: Aphrophoridae

Description:

The Aphrophoridae or spittlebugs are a family of insects belonging to the order Hemiptera. There are at least 160 genera and 990 described species in Aphrophoridae. (Wikipedia) I didn't know exactly what I had found at first. As it turns out, the spittlebug nymphs, immersed in the foam, create it as they suck the sap from the tree, and the foam acts to protect the nymphs from adverse weather, dehydration and predation. Spittlebugs, also known as froghoppers, can be found on a broad range of garden plants, but are most often seen on native species including wattles, eucalypts and casuarinas. They will feed on the leaves, twigs, branches and/or trunk of the host trees, and lay their eggs in the plant tissue. Adults are also strong jumpers!

Habitat:

Boondall Wetlands Reserve in Brisbane, QLD. This area of the wetlands is treed predominantly with she-oak (Casuarina) and paperbark (Melaleuca) species, along with a variety of other native flora. This spotting was found on Casuarina glauga, aka swamp she-oak. http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/environme...

Notes:

I've had a good look at my photos to see if I could spot one of the insects, but to no avail, so I'm unable to nominate an actual genus or species as ID. Here's some info on known species within the Brisbane area.... https://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane... There are two species that have potential as both are known to produce spittle - Philagra parva https://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane... and Amarusa australis https://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane...

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Boondall, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Apr 28, 2021
Submitted on May 3, 2021

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