Philaenus spumarius (Linnaeus 1758)

Meadow froghopper , Meadow spittlebug

Basionym: Cicada spumarius Linnaeus, 1758
Published in: Linnaeus, C.  1758. Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Syste

Description & Identification

Adults are typically 5- 7mm long; females are slightly larger than males.

P. spumarius is extremely variable in colour and pattern, ranging from pale brown through to completely black, broadly divisible between the predominantly pale forms and the mostly black ’melanic’ ones (above and below the line, respectively, on the diagram below right). As with all froghoppers, they have two stout spines on the outer edge of the hind tibiae and several smaller spines at the tip. Nymphs have no markings and range from uniform pale yellow when first emerged to lime green in later stages. (Harkin & Stewart, 2019)

Philaenus can be distinguished from Neophilaenus species by their more convex outline when viewed from above (as opposed to the more parallel-sided Neophilaenus) and their overall pattern of markings. They are much smaller than Aphrophora species, although the patterning in the typical (TYP) form of Philaenus can appear similar to A. alni. (Harkin & Stewart, 2019)


Biology & Ecology

Philaenus spumarius is known to feed on over 400 different plant species. It can be found in most open habitats, including grasslands, gardens and open forests, but it favours herbaceous host plants rather than grasses or trees. Females lay eggs singly or in groups in the autumn. On emergence the following spring, nymphs begin producing the characteristic spittle ‚Äėnests‚Äô which provide protection against predators and desiccation. Spittle can be seen from April to late June. The nymph moults five times within the spittle before emerging as a free-living adult. Adults are found normally between June and September, but sometimes as late as November. As with all froghoppers, P. spumarius feeds on the liquid contents of the xylem vessels of its host plant. As such, it is a known vector of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa which has caused the death of many olive trees in southern Europe, although this disease has not been detected in the UK. (Harkin & Stewart, 2019)


Classification

Hemiptera
Auchenorrhyncha
Aphrophoridae
-
-
Philaenus
spumarius
(Linnaeus 1758)

Synonymy

Philaenus leucophthalma (Linnaeus, 1758)
Philaenus spumarius pallidus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Ptyelus spumarius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Philaneus spumarius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Cicada lateralis Linnaeus, 1758
Cicada leucocephala Linnaeus, 1758
Cicada spumarius Linnaeus, 1758
? pallidus Linnaeus, 1758
Cercopis lineata Fabricius, 1781
Ptyelus spumarius fasciatus (Fabricius, 1787)
Cercopis fasciata Fabricius, 1787
Philaenus spumarius marginella (Fabricius, 1794)
? marginellus Fabricius, 1794
Aphrophora apicalis Germar, 1821
Ptyelus spumarius apicallis (Germar, 1821)
Philaenus spumarius ustulatus Puton, 1875
Ptyelus spumarius ustulatus (Puton, 1875)
Philaenus spumarius rufescens Melichar, 1896

Common Names (full list)

Allmän spottstrit
Source: Dyntaxa. Svensk taxonomisk databas
Almindelig skumcikade
Source: National checklist of all species occurring in Denmark
Cercope des prés
Source: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
Meadow froghopper
Source: Checklist of Vermont Species
Meadow froghopper
Source: Martha's Vineyard species checklist
Meadow froghopper
Source: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
Meadow spittlebug
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Meadow spittlebug
Source: Martha's Vineyard species checklist
Meadow spittlebug
Source: Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species - Alaska, United States (ver.2.0, 2022)
Meadow spittlebug
Source: Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species - United States (Contiguous) (ver.2.0, 2022)
Meadow spittlebug
Source: Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species - Hawaii, United States (ver.2.0, 2022)
Meadow spittlebug
Source: Checklist of Vermont Species
Meadow spittlebug
Source: NCBI Taxonomy
Meadow spittlebug
Source: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
Schuimbeestje
Source: Checklist Dutch Species Register - Nederlands Soortenregister
Schuimbeestje, spuugbeestje
Source: Belgian Species List
Skumcikade
Source: National checklist of all species occurring in Denmark
Wiesen-schaumzikade
Source: Catalogue of Life Checklist
Wiesenschaumzikade
Source: Taxon list of Auchenorrhyncha from Germany compiled in the context of the GBOL project
Wiesenschaumzikade
Source: Taxon list of animals with German names (worldwide) compiled at the SMNS

Additional Images

Images provided by GBIF data providers. We cannot verify that identifications are correct.


Worldwide Distribution

Philaenus spumarius is a common across Europe, Asia and North America. Specimens have also been recorded in New Zeland.

Asia
Europe
North America

Distribution point data provided by GBIF.

UK Status: Present

The Meadow Spittlebug or Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius) is an extremely common species with a widespread distribution across Britain and Ireland. 

Vector Status

Economic Crops

Olive
Ornamentals

As with all froghoppers, P. spumarius feeds on the liquid contents of the xylem vessels of its host plant. As such, it is a known vector of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa which has caused the death of many olive trees in southern Europe, although this disease has not been detected in the UK. (Harkin & Stewart, 2019)

Plant Diseases

Bacteria

.

Phytoplasmas

Mitrovic, M., Jovic, J., Cvrkovic, T., Krstic, O., Trkulja, N., Tosevski, I. 2012. Characterisation of a 16SrII phytoplasma strain associated with bushy stunt of hawkweed oxtongue (Picris hieracioides) in south-eastern Serbia and the role of the leafhopper Neoaliturus fenestratus (Deltocephalinae) as a natural vector. European Journal of Palnt Pathology, 134(3): 647-660

Carraro, L., Ferrini, F., Ermacora, P., Loi, N., Martini, M., Osler, R. 2004. Macropsis mendax as a vector of elm yellows phytoplasma of Ulmus species. Plant Pathology, 53: 90-95

Bressan, A., Larrue, J., Boudon-Padieu, E. 2006. Patterns of phytoplasma-infected and infective Scaphoideus titanus leafhoppers in vineyards with high incidence of Flavescence dorée. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 119: 61-69

Carraro, L., Ferrini, F., Martini, M., Ermacora, P., Loi, N. 2008. A serious epidemic of Stolbur on Celery. Journal of Plant Pathology, 90(1): 131-135

Avramov, Z., Ivanova, I., Laginova, M. 2011b. Screening for phytoplasma presence in leafhoppers and planthoppers collected in Bulgarian vineyards. Bulletin of Insectology, 64(Supplement): S115-S116

Sfalanga, A., Martini, M., Surico, G., Bertaccini, A. 2002. Involvement of phytoplasmas in a decline of Ulmus chenmoui in Central Italy. Forest Pathology, 32: 265-275

Riedle-Bauer, M., Tiefenbrunner, W., Otreba, J., Hanak, K., Schildberger, B., Regner, F. 2006. Epidemiological observations on Bois noir in Austrian vineyards. Mitteilungen Klosterrneuburg, 56: 166‚Äď170

* Citations of Phytoplasma occurrance in Philaenus spumarius (Linnaeus 1758) have been exctracted from the database of Hemiptera-Phytoplasma-Plant (HPP) biological interactions worldwide (Valeria Trivellone. (2019). Hemiptera-Phytoplasma-Plant dataset (v1.2) [Data set]. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2532738).


GALLERY



TAGS
Aphrophoridae Asia Cercopoidea Europe North America Olive Ornamentals Philaenus Olive Quick Decline Syndrome (OQDS) Phytoplasma (16srI) Phytoplasma (16SrI-C) Phytoplasma (16SrII) Phytoplasma (16SrXII-A) Xylella fastidiosa
RESOURCES

CITATION
Philaenus spumarius (Linnaeus 1758): Wilson M. R. & Turner J. A. 2021. Insect Vectors of Plant Disease. Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. Available online at http://insectvectors.science/vector/1804. [ Accessed:  31/03/2023 ].
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