WHAT IS CUCKOO SPIT?

What is cuckoo spit?



Cuckoo spit is the common name given to a frothy residue which can be found on plants from the late spring into early summer. The spit-like froth serves to act as a protective 'coat' that hides a froghopper nymph from the view of predators and parasites. The froth also insulates against heat and cold, providing thermal and moisture control. Without the froth the soft-bodied insect would quickly dry up and die.

Froghopper nymph in cuckoo spit
The nymphs pierces the plant to feed on the sap and this in itself can cause distortion on young plant growth and occasionally wilt, but long term damage is seldom severe. Much of the filtered fluid from the sap goes into the production of the froth which has an acrid taste serving to deter potential predators.

The adult froghoppers are far more destructive feeding on plants from late July onwards until the autumn before laying overwintering eggs and dying.

The froth and nymphs can be easily removed from infected plants by forcibly spraying them with water from a garden hose or pressurised sprayer. If this is not practical then you can apply a systemic insecticide.

For the complete article click onto the following link:
The Atlas beetles - Chalcosoma atlas
THE CUCKOO
THE PANDA ANT - Euspinolia militaris
The Stag beetle - Lucanus cervus
WHAT IS CUCKOO SPIT?
WHAT IS FASCIATION?
WHAT IS HOMEOSTASIS

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