22 May 2011

Beetles and Bugs

Cardinal Beetle - Pyrochroa serraticornis

One of my favourites. Brilliant distinctive colouring and I also like the large serrated antenna. There is another form with a black head rather than scarlet but I've not come across one yet.  Typically seen in the adult form between May and July

Green Tortoise Beetle - Cassida viridis

One for Monica, she likes these. A male and female presumably!  Easiest to spot at this time of year when they are mating as usually they are well camouflaged when pulled down tightly against leaves.

Black and Red Froghopper - Cercopis vulnerata

These are EVERYWHERE at Trench Wood at the moment. Must have seen 30 before I had left the car park. 

Froghopper nymph - aphrophora salicina

Froghoppers are also referred to as Spittle Bugs because it is they that are responsible for Cuckoo Spit on plants.  The nymphs produce the froth which completely hides them from predators and also tastes bad so  puts off predators. As you see a lot of Cuckoo spit but not the nymphs I guess the strategy works. However I suppose if you wanted to go poking around in it you would find the nymphs.

Froghopper nymph - aphrophora salicina

 To save you having to go poking about in the horrible froth to satisfy your curiosity, this is one I prepared earlier showing the back end of the nymph poking out. 

Incidentally if you are wondering WHY it is called Cuckoo Spit it is because in the past it was thought to have been produced by Cuckoos who arrived on migration at the same time the froth started to appear. Just coincidence.

There are many species of Froghopper nymph that produce the froth (though not the Black and Red Froghopper above) and if you are wondering what the Adults typically look like see my previous post here for an example.

Horned Treehopper - Centrotus cornutus

I found another of these, at Trench Wood this time. This angle shows off its horns well


  1. A magnificent Cardinal Beetle - those antennae are like saw blades.

  2. Great photos! Yes! I like the cassidas!!!