[Leps-l] Megisto cymela sipping spittlebug spit

Peter T Oboyski essig.museum at gmail.com
Wed Jun 3 20:34:00 EDT 2020

I forwarded this observation to Vinton Thompson, who works on Cercopidae.
He sent me the following paper. Of course the spittle is likely to vary
depending on host plant species. But I thought you all would find this
interesting. Using this title to search on Google Scholar brings up a
number of interesting articles on cercopid spittle.

del Campo, M.L., King, J.T. and Gronquist, M.R., 2011. Defensive and
chemical characterization of the froth produced by the cercopid Aphrophora
cribrata. *Chemoecology*, *21*(1), pp.1-8.

Abstract: Nymphs of the cercopid Aphrophora cribrata cover themselves with
a frothy exudate while ingesting sap from their preferred host plant, the
eastern white pine, Pinus strobus. Chemical analyses of froth collected
from A. cribrata nymphs revealed an array of metabolites belonging to five
chemical classes, including fatty acid-derived alcohols, c-lactones and a
single 1-monoacylglycerol, as well as the polyol pinitol and the
polyhydroxyalkanoate, poly-3-hydroxybutyrate. Bioassays showed the natural
A. cribata froth, as well as a synthetic mixture comprised of
representative compound classes identified therein, to be repellent to ants
but largely devoid of topical irritancy in tests with cockroaches.

*SF Chronicle - The Regulars (video)

Peter T Oboyski, PhD
Executive Director
Essig Museum of Entomology
1170 Valley Life Science Building
University of California, Berkeley

<essig.museum at gmail.com>https://essig.berkeley.edu
510.643.0804 (work phone)
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*Help support the Essig Museum by donating at *
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On Mon, Jun 1, 2020 at 7:24 PM <jeff at mineralmovies.com> wrote:

> Just wanted to share another fun video.  I have seen this behavior before.  I
> wonder if there is any value more than just moisture?
> *https://vimeo.com/424993854* <https://vimeo.com/424993854>
> He was quite intent and actually spent several minutes doing this.  He
> was even interrupted once or twice but came back and to continue his
> drink.
> Jeff Fast
> *www.MineralMovies.com* <http://www.MineralMovies.com>
> (860) 985 - 6321
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