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LEXICON

 

 

froghopper

Common name for insects of the superfamily Cercopoidea, that belong the order Hemiptera, a group known as Hemipteran insects, that also encompasses cicadas (fig.), aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, jumping plant lice, shield bugs, and others. Froghoppers are not just related to cicadas (fig.), but also physically resemble them, though froghoppers are usually more colourful and have opaque wings, whereas those of cicadas are typically transparent (fig.). These insects are also commonly known as spittlebugs, because in their nymph stage, they produce a cover of frothed-up plant sap, which resembles spit, and is generally referred to as frog spit, snake spit, or cuckoo spit. This froth hides the nymph from the view of predators and insulates it against the daytime heat, whilst also providing sufficient moisture, in order to prevent that the nymph would dry up. To produce this froth, the nymph pierces its host plant and sucks up its sap, The fluids are then filtered and frothed-up to create the foam nest. The acrid taste of the frothed-up plant sap deters predators. In Thai, this insect is known as malaeng phlia kradohd kob (แมลงเพลี้ยกระโดดกบ), literally frog jumping aphid insect’.