Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius

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Class Insecta Order Hemiptera Family AphrophoridaeGenus Philaenus

Size Length: 5.3-6.9 mm

Aka Meadow froghopper , Cuckoo spit , Spittlebug and Froth Bug


A small, common froghopper is a variable species, with numerous dramatically different colour forms, patterned with brown, black and white Wings are held in a tent like fashion over the body . Young froghoppers, known as nymphs, develop in frothy clumps that are popularly known as cuckoospit the Froghoppers, like all bugs (Hemiptera), have specialised sucking mouthparts, for feeding on plant sap.Adults and nymphs are present between June and September The nymphs of this species are protected by their covering of froth, which they create by blowing air into a fluid excreted from their anus. Female lays eggs mainly in willow twigs Philaenus spumarius tends to be found on a wide range of low growing plants such as grasses, herbaceous plants and shrubs from June to September. They feed on plant tissues below this protective covering, which also prevents them from drying out . There is no larval stage in the developemnt of the bug ‘hemimetabolous development’ , wingless nymphs resemble the adult form.

Fig 2 is form trilineatus, a dominant form, v widespread, whereas Iwas startled to see fig 1. as Ive never seen such a colour form before. This is not one of the usual named 11 colour forms ascribed to the UK However looking through the literature I see this wasdescribed by Fabricius a long time ago - form praeusta


Found in a wide range of habitats including parks, meadows and gardens on a variety of plants and the larvea are the familiar producers of 'cuckoo-spit' in gardens. Frequents meadows and woodland margins.

Similar Species

Colour forms resemble the larger Aphrophora alni

IMAGE 23079 (C) 2008 COLIN DUKE


IMAGE 23080 (C) 2008 COLIN DUKE

IMAGE 23081 (C) 2008 COLIN DUKE


IMAGE 23095 (C) 2008 COLIN DUKE
IMAGE 23095 (C) 2008 COLIN DUKE


P. spumarius FORM GIB - Gibbus

Philaenus spumarius 9681



Philaenus spumarius 9678



The Meadow Froghopper resemble the larger Aphrophora alni (which is lacking in the fine hairs of P. spumarius).


The Colour Polymorphs of philanus spumarus

5 Non-mlealnic and remaining melanics ( Black pigmented )