Dogwood Spittlebug

Clastoptera proteus

Dogwood_Spittlebug_6-12-2019.jpg

Dogwood spittlebug resting on the edge of a leaf
The adult dogwood spittlebug (Clastoptera proteus) has distinctive black and yellow markings. It feeds on dogwoods, blueberries, and their relatives.
Family

Clastopteridae (a family of spittlebugs), in superfamily Cercopoidea

Description

The adult dogwood spittlebug has distinctive black and yellow markings.

The nymphs (juveniles) suck the sap of dogwoods (Cornus spp.), while the adults feed on dogwoods, plus blueberries, farkleberry, deerberry, huckleberry, and other plants in the genus Vaccinium.

These hoppers are less than ¼ inch long. As with other spittlebugs and froghoppers, the adults are amazing jumpers: now you see them, now you don't.

Learn more about this and other spittlebugs and froghoppers on their group page.

Ecosystem connections

Douglas Tallamy has written that "a plant that has fed nothing has not done its job." Most birds, he points out, cannot survive and raise their young on plants but require plentiful insects for food. He reminds us that there must be a wide variety of insects (and their various native food plants) in order for there to be birds and other larger animals — and a functioning ecosystem.