Western Pine Spittlebug – Aphrophora permutata

Western Pine Spittlebug – Aphrophorapermutata

Common Name: Western Pine Spittlebug

Latin Name: Aphrophorapermutata



  • The nymphs are hidden among the spittle piles. They have soft, elongated bodies that can grow up to 1/4 inch long.
  • They develop from orange to yellow to green.
  • Nymphs have huge crimson eyes that protrude from the sides of their heads.


  • Adult meadow spittlebugs are around 1/4 inch long and are rarely observed.
  • They begin green and eventually turn brown or grey.
  • Adult spittlebugs, commonly known as froghoppers, have larger hind legs that allow them to leap.
  • They like leafhoppers but are larger


Life history and habits:


Adult spittlebugs are darkly colored and around 6 mm (0.25 in) long. When agitated, they quickly leap or fly. Females deposit tiny eggs in rows, generally in concealed sections of the plant, like the sheath between the leaves and stems. The frothy white mass that covers immature spittlebugs makes them easily identifiable. Spit combines liquid waste, air blasted through stomach apertures to create bubbles, and glandular fluid. The bugs emit frothy spittle to protect themselves from parasitic and predaceous insects. A single spittle clump may contain more than one nymph. Spittlebugs go through an incomplete metamorphosis. Nymphs molt five times and might be orange, yellow, or green. The majority of organisms have only one generation every year.