Ambatch Spittle Bug

a black and orange spittle bug, Cercopidae, on Aeschynomene, from Eldoret, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed at Eldoret Kenya. July 2014. Host was Aeschynomene elaphroxylon.

A mass of frothy bubbles partially hides developing nymphs (immatures) of spittlebugs. The adult, at left, appears to display aposomatic colors suggesting that some defensive chemical capable of repelling an insectivorous bird is sequestered in the bug. This adult is capable of jumping and flying away if need be and it possesses keen eyesight.

The host plant for these specimens was Ambatch (Aeschynomene elaphroxylon), a plant that has been promoted for use as a green manure.

Cercopidae -- Spittle Bug Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 15 June 2015.