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Two-lined Spittlebug (Prosapia bicincta)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Two-lined Spittlebug



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Both adults and nymphs of Two-lined Spittlebugs are capable of secreting a useful fluid for protection if jumping away is impossible.



Updated: 07/15/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 might be mistaken for a Leafhopper, but they are not in the same family.

True to its name, a young, yellow nymph builds a foamy layer of protection over itself while it grows and develops. This froth is a mixture of mucous and the nymph's own liquid waste that is whipped up by a small protrusion at the tip of the abdomen. The result is a blob of white, bubbly 'spit' on the branch or tree where it sits. 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.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Cercopidae
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          Genus: Prosapia
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            Species: bicincta
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Prosapia bicincta
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 9mm (0.27" to 0.35")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, yellow, orange
Descriptors: striped, flying, bubbles, froth, liquid, secretion

Two-Lined-Spittlebug Video(s)




A Two-lined Spittlebug takes flight.
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 7mm (0.3in) and 9mm (0.4in)
Lo: 7mm
Md: 8mm
Hi: 9mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Two-lined Spittlebug may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Two-lined Spittlebug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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