CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Sunflower Spittlebug (Clastoptera xanthocephala)
New to my buggy lifelist. I FINALLY was able to get a photo that I could use for identification. These are the size of a pinhead. I had several days of chasing this far-jumping miniscule creature on my PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa) only to be disappointed by a series of severely blurry shots that didn’t aid in identification. I had seen “spittle” on the goldenrod recently but never put two and two together since I always encountered more beefy size spittle bugs. Live and learn. There was no noticeable damage to the goldrod besides the spittle goo which would easily wash off if I were so inclined.
Research paper on insects found on goldenrod in gainesville FL indicates this species is common, larva and adults, stem, sucking, P = Polyphagous: feed also on families other than Asteraceae. source: http://journals.fcla.edu/flaent/article/view/59040/56719 page 6
Shown on Florida Native Plant: NUTGRASS; NUTRUSH (Scleria spp.)