jules's picture

Frog hopper / cuckoo spit

Observed: 17th May 2010 By: jules
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
jules’s reputation in Invertebratesjules’s reputation in Invertebratesjules’s reputation in Invertebrates
Cuckoo spit

Cuckoo spit

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Martin Harvey's picture


For those who haven't encountered this before, 'cuckoo-spit' is created by the nymphs (early stages) of some froghopper bugs. They suck sap from plants, and then excrete it in 'frothed-up' form to provide themselves with a sticky, frothy covering that provides protection for the soft-bodied insect hiding inside.

As far as I know it's called 'cuckoo' spit simply because it tends to start appearing at the same time as cuckoos are heard (or at least did, in the days when cuckoos could still be heard easily).

For more see:

Entomologist and biological recorder

DavidNotton's picture


British Bugs has cuckoo spit froghoppers as Aphrophoridae. Cecropidae with underground nymphs in UK.

Philaenus spumarius is probable though not certain