Blowing Bubbles

There are a group of bugs called froghoppers whose larval stages blow bubbles out of their rear ends.  The bubbles are sticky and cover the animals.  This provides a certain amount of protection from predators.  If you look closely you might find them on plants near you.

6-13-140001

Here is what the bubbles look like.  This was on a dogwood tree.

I have a little wash bottle, and I washed the bubbles off and separated it from its preferred location.

6-12-140018

Because of their location, and because of their looks, I think these guys are dogwood spittlebugs, Clastoptera proteus.

Some clusters of bubbles contain more than one individual.

6-13-140015

I have been looking for a different insect, however.  There is a tiny fly that has an unusual larva–a maggot with tiny prolegs.  It lives in the spittle secreted by these insects.  Its habits are not well known–it does not seem to be parasitic, at least not normally.  They have been reported to occur in the spittle mass of insects of this genus.

I will keep looking and let you know if I find any.

 

Advertisements

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in insects and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s