Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spittle bug

Not being a bug expert, it took me a long time to discover what these patches of foam were all about. My first thought was to remember certain frogs at Bosque Santa Lucia that whip up a viscous foam for protecting their eggs. But the volume of foam in this case, as in the image, is quite small in comparison with the toad frogs. Ah so, maybe tree frogs? My first tipoff was from a friend in Michigan, who calmly told me maybe a bug was involved. After opening up the foam, I discovered that Rachael was quite correct. There was a bug, or larva of one, inside. But what bug? It was almost two years later that I discovered the name of the little devil. It was a spittle bug! Per the link reference, there's not one but thousands of species of the spittle bugs. I don't know how many exist at the Bosque, but it seems that I've seen several different ones. But I can't be sure because they go through lots of different stages of development before they reach maturity. Coming up, image of the bug.

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