Sunflower Spittlebug (Clastoptera xanthocephala)

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.

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/666226

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.)
https://whatfloridanativeplantisbloomingtoday.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/nutgrass-nutrush-scleria-spp-likely-triglomerata/

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1 comment
  1. Oh, congratulations! Great capture! I’ve never heard of or encountered this one – at least not that I know. Just getting photos of regular spittlebugs can be quite the challenge.

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