Two-Lined Spittlebug (Prosapia bicincta)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Two-Lined Spittlebug.
Updated: 7/21/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Both adults and larvae of Two-Lined Spittlebugs are capable of secreting a useful fluid for protection.
Two-Lined Spittlebugs have two orange or yellow lines, or stripes, crossing their black wings. They are quite small and are often overlooked. They are sap-suckers and drink the juices of a variety of grasses and ornamental plants, including Bermuda grass. This may cause the plant to suffer and discolor, wilt or die if done in excess. Spittlebugs hop around their host plants like a frog and make be mistaken for a Leafhopper, but they are not in the same family.
True to their name, yellow larvae build a foamy layer of protection over themselves while they grow and develop. This froth is a mixture of mucous and their own liquid waste that is whipped by small protrusion at the tip of the abdomen. The result is a blob of white, bubbly 'spit' on the branch or tree. Young Two-Lined Spittlebugs hide in this foam to avoid predators, but also to keep their bodies moist. After they mature, adults no longer need the bubble nest and have hard exoskeletons that resist drying out. Adults can secrete a yellow fluid from their feet as they jump away. This is believed to distract or deter a predator. Two-Lined Spittlebugs are most active during the warm summer and autumn months.