June the onset of summer with the Cuckoo-spit in evidence all over the woodland.The Cuckoo-spit insect,for that is what it is, is also known as the Froghopper or Spittle Bug - seile cuaiche.
The froth or spit is the nymphal stage .The froth serves a number of functions: - hiding the insect,protection from predators,keeping the insect moist as well as keeping us engaged in looking out for the spit this time of year!
Below is an image of the insect in all it's glorious colour courtesy of Wikipedia.
Any examples I have seen to date in Ireland have all been at the nymph stage and show a uniform colour akin to the orange band below,though more muted.
Do keep a lookout as you amble through the woods for the tell-tale spit and if you must take a look inside carefully peel away the froth with a stalk of grass to see the insect but be sure to cover it up again before saying your goodbye!
More to be found about the insect at Wikipedia.
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