Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Philaenus spumarius - Meadow Spittlebug

Leaf Hopper 2 - Philaenus spumarius Common meadow spittlebug - vittata variety - Philaenus spumarius Leaf Hopper  - Philaenus spumarius Teneral adult - Philaenus spumarius Leafhopper - Idiocerus or Coelidia? - Philaenus spumarius Gold hopper - Philaenus spumarius Spittlebug Early Instar ?   - Philaenus spumarius Philaenus spumarius
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (Free-living Hemipterans)
Infraorder Cicadomorpha
Superfamily Cercopoidea (Spittlebugs)
Family Aphrophoridae (Spittlebugs)
Genus Philaenus
Species spumarius (Meadow Spittlebug)
Other Common Names
Common Spittlebug (UK)(1), Common Froghopper (UK)(2), Cuckoo-spit Insect
Explanation of Names
Philaenus spumarius (Linnaeus 1758)
spumarius = 'frothy'
Size
5-7 mm(2)
Identification
Comes in many different color patterns:

According to Dr. Andy Hamilton: If it's a spittlebug, and
(1) it's either entirely black (but not as round as Prosapia or Clastoptera) OR
(2) it has two tiny black spots at the tip of the head
...then it's a meadow spittlebug adult. Raised veins in the wings are also distinctive.
Nymphs are green with black antennae.
Range
native to, and widespread across the Palaearctic, adventive and widespread in NA (much of the US except sw. areas, most common in the northeast and Pacific Northwest)(2)(3)
Food
infests >400 plant species, may damage alfalfa, red clover, wheat, oats, corn, and strawberries
Remarks
earliest NA record: NF ca. 1000(4)
Internet References
Fact sheets: NC State U. (range data obsolete)