Thursday 18 June 2015

Grass Spit

    I am on pretty shaky ground here since this is all new information to me.
    Every spring I notice what looks like spit on a lot of the tall grass and weeds that grow here in the Robson Valley.  I always assumed it was probably some egg mass laid by some insect, but never did learn what insect.  I noticed a lot of it on plants yesterday as we walked along a trail, and so took some photos.
    I thought I’d better try to find some information about it if I was going to use it in a blog, but didn’t really know where to start.  Since it looked like spit and I didn’t know what else to call it, I Googled “grass spit.”  Amazingly lots of other photos of the stuff came up and as well as some information.  It seems like this spit is the result of an insect called a froghopper or the logically named “spittlebug.”  Actually it is the larvae of the bug that surrounds itself with, and hides in the spit.  
    Armed with this information, I just went outside to find some spit and further investigate.  I found some and sure enough when I dug unto the bubbly mass I found a tiny yellowish green larvae.   A photo below shows one on the edge of my pocket knife blade.  
    The larvae does suck the juices out of plants, and noticed that around my place I mostly find the spit on thistles, a plant I truly I detest, so I am happy to see them suck away.

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