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Spittle Bug

Spittle Bug
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-04-17
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/4, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-04-27 7:12
Viewed: 6385
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Spittle Bug / Ptyelus sp

During the last couple of months I did not walk much in the garden as usual with my camera looking for something to capture. I have a problem with my eyes at the moment making it difficult to take the macro shots.

I am so pleased that I decided to take a walk on the specific day I saw this bug with its striking yellow colour and big eyes. As difficult it was to capture it with my tearing eyes, battling to find perfect focus for some time, so I am happy that I persisted and now can share it with you.

This Spittle Bug was very cooperative and sat still for a long time, giving me ample time to take some photographs of it. I took a little piece of grass to tickle it a bit to move into another position but it did not budge much and stayed motionless for some time.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class: Insecta (Insects)
Order: Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (Free-living Hemipterans)
Family: Cercopidae (Spittlebugs)

Family Cercopidae
Named for nymphs unusual habit of living in a ball of spittle. Produced by mixing air with copious anal secretions derived from plant sap. The spittle probably protects them from predators, parasitoids and from drying out. Some nymphs live underground on the roots of plants, others on grasses and (the larger species) on shrubs and trees. Adults are medium sized and stoutly built, with cone-shaped end of head, and almost round eyes, and often have brightly coloured fore wings. Jump, but do not secrete wax (like planthoppers). There are 33 species known from the region, most belonging to the genus Locris.

Spittle Bugs (Also known as Rain-tree Bugs)
Large wingspan (30-35mm), with brightly coloured yellow wings and black edges at the tips. Nymphs are black with fine cream hieroglyphic-type markings and central orange stripe.

Well known for the phenomenon of 'rain-trees', produced by the constant dripping of processed tree sap through the bodies of clusters of nymphs and adults. Rain trees Peltophorum and Lonchocarpus capassa are favoured hosts, but Tipuana, Grevillea, Acacia, Rhus, Strychnos and even Eucalyptus are attacked. Acrid-tasting exudates from pools under host tree.

Subtropical bushveld, forest and gardens, from Southern Africa through to West Africa.

Related species
There are 3 species in the genus.

Taken from: Field Guide to Insects of South Africa by Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving.

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

ramthakur, PeterZ, goatman04, samiran88, Marco2010, pegos, anel, josediogo1958, PaulLees, Alex99, Jakkals, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To corjan3: ThanksMiss_Piggy 2 06-06 08:19
To Argus: ThanksMiss_Piggy 1 04-29 10:30
To Argus: ThanksMiss_Piggy 1 04-29 10:30
To tuslaw: Oops!Miss_Piggy 1 04-28 23:12
To ramthakur: Crusty stuffMiss_Piggy 2 04-27 17:58
To Marco2010: Good wishesMiss_Piggy 1 04-27 12:05
To goatman04: ThanksMiss_Piggy 1 04-27 09:04
To samiran88: ThanksMiss_Piggy 1 04-27 09:02
To PeterZ: Blue eyesMiss_Piggy 2 04-27 07:30
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Critiques [Translate]

An absolutely new bug for me, Anna, my next-door neighbour today on the gallery.
Despite your troubled eyes, you have created a masterpiece picture of this cute, blue-eyed Spittle Bug. I can't figure out the crusty stuff it is sitting on, though.
Thanks and take care of your eyes, Anna.

Hello Anna,
Fantastic photo in great sharpness, details and beautiful colours. What a special bug with its blue eyes.
Hope it's gonna be better with your eyes.

Hello Anna,
A wonderful image of a bug that I have not seen at such close range before. No lack of DOF here and that always deserves special mention with a macro. Well done and best wishes.

PS: I sincerely hope the problem with your eyes is not serious.

Hello Anna,

An excellent macro with such beautiful colors, sharpness & details. Very nicely composed & done.

TFS & best wishes!


PS: Best of luck with your eyes...hopefully for the best outcome.

hello Anna
this is super good
i like the yellow colours and the great macro
Sharpness and colours are beautiful
thanks greeting lou

Hello Anna,
despite of your troubled eyes, you give us a great macro picture which is a very striking yellow colour, i never see this type of Spittle Bug, good sharpness and composition.
please take care of your eyes.
best wishes from Samiran

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-04-27 9:24]

Hi Anna,a great scoop,i never seen before this very strange bug that looks like a yellow moth whit the closed wings.Magnificent capture whit the best light management,sharpnss and colors,my best compliments,have a nice weekend,Luciano

Ciao Anna. Excellente light and colours for the intersting strange one. Well done.


Ciao Anna, great macro of tiny creature, fantastic details, wonderful natural colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Ciao Anne
Anzitutto ti auguro di risolvere il tuo problema con gli occhi che è la cosa più importante,comunque hai scattato un’ottima foto( la classe non e acqua ),ottima nitidezza e colori stupendi ,interessanti la note riguardanti il soggetto Brava,
Ti Auguro un buon week end ciao Marco.

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2012-04-27 14:34]

Ciao Anna,
beautiful macro shot of this bug! Excellent sharpness and fine detail; perfect POV and great depth; nice natural colours and splendid blue eyes. Very well done!
My best wishes, Anna!

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2012-04-27 14:45]

Hello Anna!
Hope you get better soon!
Incredible creature you show us today!Very strange but beautiful with this lovely yellow color.Nice POV and good details!TFS
Best wishes from,

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2012-04-28 10:40]

Hello Anna,
Interesting these creatures! Yous specimen has a striking coloration and this typical shape of the Spittle bugs. Perfect sharpness even if you had some problems with your eyes (something I know too). Excellent note too. Thanks a a lot.
Kind regards

Hello Anna
Very strange and beautiful bug,new for me..
Beautiful colours and great sharpness in a lovely simple composition.
Thank You
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-04-28 19:49]
  • [+]

Hello Anna,
All I can say is that it's tempting to go out and purchase a Sony Cybershot DSC HX1. Your images are always so clear and the color is vivid yet natural. This is a prime examply of what I am talking about. A real beauty and shown in the highest quality. If I do buy one, I will definitely tell Rosie it was all your fault.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2012-04-29 7:28]
  • [+]

Hello Anna,
Sorry to hear about your eye problem: I hope it will soon resolve itself.
Our Scandinavian Spittle Bug is green and only about 1 cm long.
This species is strikingly coloured and looks larger, at least it is sharply seen from a fine POV with excellent colours that contrast well with the BG in excellent lighting.
Thanks and best regards,

Hello Anna
Amazing insect and another beautiful photo with fantastic colours and good sharpness.

Hi Anna, Fabulous take of this fine Spittle Bug my good friend, splendid sharpness with good detail, wonderful macro work here Anna and very well done,
Best Regards,


Impresionante trabajo Anne, no solamente por la técnica fotográfica sino también por el resultado artístico del conjunto. Muy buena luz y una ampliación ya casi insuperable en calidad con ese equipo, al que por cierto sacas un buen partido. Engorabuena.
Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2012-05-08 19:59]

Hello Anna,
lovely view of this unique beetle. The color is sunning and its such a special beetle for me. The details are so well seen.
Exciting subject.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-05-17 20:34]

Hi Anna.
Despite your eye problem you managed to take simply outstanding picture of the cute insect. 3D-effect and clarity of the image are fantastic as well as all other true details of the insect and surroundings. Terrific job. I hope all will be OK with your eyes and we will see more your outstanding macro shots.

Witaj Anno
I am careful, that bed-bug this very curious insects. It is them sporo and quite pretty. Your picture is very sharp, there are beautiful colours and interesting specimen represents.
Gratuluje i pozdrawiam

Hallo Anna,
Seems to me I missed out a lot with my absence on TN. This was captured in perfect focus and detail, beautiful colours, natural environment and absolute persistance from you to capture this bug in all it's glory!! Well done my friend.
Best regards,

this is a great macro shot Anna, excellent details and very nice colors, perfect focus on the eye,congratulations !

ciao, tino

Hello Anna
A wonderful insect shown in this excellent photo. Good depth of field, nicely focused, excellent detail.
regards yiannis

Hello Anna

WOW ! great close-up shot of this insect
with its beautiful color tones, fine POV, DOF,
great focus, sharpness and details, TFS


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