(2) Spittle from Bug
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The Common Froghopper.
This wee Bug I found at Glecknabae/ Kilmichael area, while I was looking for another species. It is not the best of images , so I was not going to use it till I had got one better, but I’m afraid that you will have to be content with this one as I have no intention of searching through the undergrowth in search for another, as you will understand why, as the story unfolds.
This pair was sitting on a very thin plant like a reed when I spotted them, which was in itself amazing as they are only 6mm in length. (A quarter of an inch in old money). As I got closer to them they moved round the reed and nearly out of site, making it very hard to get a photo, so I held the reed in my left hand and attempted to twist it round, but this only made them move backwards. What do I do to get a photo? If I carry on they may take flight surmising they had wings, (at least they looked like they had wings) or jump off into the undergrowth never to be seen again. I then decided that it is better with any image than none at all, so now you see what I saw, albeit a wee bit blurred as I had to crop it in size to able to use it for the Buteman. I have a good camera for things like this pair of bugs, but holding the plant in one hand and the camera in the other, deep in the undergrowth make life very hard in getting perfection.
Now! We come to these wee bugs other name which is the ‘Spittlebug’. Does that name ring a bell?
This is the bug that creates spittle on plants. At times whole fields of grasses are covered in the spit, with the best or worse one was last week in the field just below Kelspoke Castle above Kilchattan Bay( there are no records of this ever been a Castle) which were absolutely covered in this spit , which is referred to as ‘Cuckoo Spit’. I have never seen so much in my life, yet it was short-lived and soon disappeared of which I was quite happy as where it comes from leaves a lot to be desired.
These bugs live on the rising sap of what plants that they are attached to, in this case, reeds and after indulging on this sap, they need to get rid of the residue, and this comes out of their backsides, so, if and when you are frolicking in the fields and you get covered in a frothy/sticky mess, then you now know where it comes from. It is harmless to us humans but is a bit of a nuisance, so don’t let it stop your enjoyment of a day in the country, and start looking for other wee bugs, and very few will cause you problems.
First Published in the Buteman 13-07-2012