Animals

Two-Lined Spittlebug: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Two-lined spittlebug facts, scientific name Prosapia bicincta
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Have you ever seen patches of dry grass that when stepped on gave a squishy feeling? If yes, you might want to find out about a small bug in frothy foam spittle mass. You read it right; thats why it's named spittle, and you can notice two prominent orange lines horizontally on its wedge-shaped body. So that's how the two-lined spittlebug got its name. The identification is effortless as its common name describes its unique features. The scientific name of spittlebug is Prosapia bicincta. They belong to the leafhoppers family.

A spittlebug is commonly found on turfgrass species, but we can see centipedegrass has more feeding damage. These pests attack centipedegrass, bahiagrass, bermudagrass, St Augustine grass, and various ryegrasses. In addition, these pests infest grasslands and lawns primarily. Spittlebugs can found commonly in southeastern parts of the United States, from Texas to North Carolina. They require the optimal temperature to survive and perish in freezing weather.

Are you are excited to know about bug's life. Then, you might want to check out our website for interesting facts about wheel bugs and black carpenter ants.

two-lined spittlebug

Fact File

What do they prey on?

N/A

What do they eat?

Herbivore

Average litter size?

Average of 45 eggs

How much do they weigh?

N/A

How long are they?

0.32 - 0.39 inch (8 – 10 mm )


How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Black, Brown, Two Distinct Orange Lines

Skin Type

Exoskeleton

What are their main threats?

Humans, Pest Control

What is their conservation status?

Not listed as per IUCN

Where you'll find them

Wet Grasslands

Locations

North America

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Insecta

Scientific Name

Prosapia bicincta

Family

Cercopidae

Genus

Prosapia

Two-Lined Spittlebug Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a two-Lined spittlebug?

Two-lined spittlebug Prosapia quite similar to leafhoppers only differs in color and shape. Its identification is relatively easy as it looks very different from a normal leafhopper. A spittlebug has a wedge/boat-shaped body with two prominent lateral lines. The insect causes feeding damages to turfgrass species.

What class of animal does a two-Lined spittlebug belong to?

The spittlebug belongs to a class of Insecta, just like grasshoppers, and falls under the family Cercopidae (leafhoppers).

How many two-lined spittlebugs are there in the world?

The exact population size of these spittlebugs is not recorded. However, these bugs have a higher reproductive rate. Each bug can lay up to 45 eggs in its short life span. So based on reproduction rate and brutal survival instinct, we can clearly say there no shortage of these bugs with appropriate natural resources such as tropical weather and abundance of turfgrass species.

Where does a two-lined spittlebug live?

The two-lined spittlebug lives where there is plenty of grass on which to feed. These bugs are predominantly found in spittle masses around the soil surface near the base of centipedegrass, St Augustine grass, bahiagrass, bermudagrass, and various ryegrass areas.

What is a two-lined spittlebug's habitat?

Two-lined spittlebug Prosapia is a Folivore. It depends on plants, grasses weeds, ornamental plants, and crops for feeding. These insects prefer a warm climate and active in spring and summer. However, they cannot survive cold weather. You can find them jump and hop across the lawn/grasses. These insects are commonly found in the US; some subspecies can also prevail in the Western hemisphere.

Who do two-lined spittlebugs live with?

Prosapia bicincta lives on an open grass pasture. You can find they live with other species from the Cercopidea family. Fire ants, spiders, and many other pests.

How long does a two-lined spittlebug live?

Adult spittlebugs live for 42 days under optimal temperatures of 72 F - 95 F (22.23-35 C). These insects have the shortest life cycle, with an ambitious life cycle from eggs to nymphs being 50 days as their survival depends on the climatic condition and favorable environment. Every year two generations are produced.

How do they reproduce?

The female, after mating with the male, moves to oviposition and lays eggs. It lays an average of 45 eggs in its lifetime. During overwintering season, orange-colored eggs are laid near roots of grass areas on the solid surface or under the leaf sheath/underneath the leaves or in the crack of the stem. The female usually lays eggs in clusters, At the egg stage, it takes 19 days to hatch, and the cream-colored spittle nymphs come out. These nymphs feed on host plant sap or leaf juices, causing the leaves to wilting patches. These juices are spitted out through breadthways into frothy foam spittle masses. The nymphs take 34 to 60 days to turn into adult spittlebug.

What is their conservation status?

This prosapia bicincta is abundant in nature. The pest easily infests the area once it starts attacking. So, this spittlebug is not listed under conservation status by ICUN as its population is stable.

Two-Lined Spittlebug Fun Facts

What do two-lined spittlebugs look like?

Spittlebugs jump like leafhoppers.

Adult spittlebug looks like leafhoppers. However, its body shape is much broader with a wedge-shaped. These insects are dark brown to black with two distinctive red-orange stripes on their fore wings on the back of the body. They have brown heads with red eyes, red legs, and under black wings, they have scarlet red abdomen. The Immature nymph in frothy foam spittle mass is tiny with a white, cream, yellow, or orange body with red eyes. These bugs jump from one plant to other, which is often mistaken as leafhoppers. Adults bug grows up to 0.38 in (0.9 cm) long.

How cute are they?

Prosapia bicincta has vibrant color patterns, but it still may not be as beautiful as a ladybug. Spittlebug nymphs covered in frothy foam can be even gross at first sight. But looking into more resources can help us to know more fascinating aspects of the Cercopidae family.

How do they communicate?

The spittlebug communicates through vibrational signaling. These bugs from the Cercopidae family, usually female, sends singing signals to help males locate the position of the female. In addition, virgin females emit perfume-like odors to attract males.

How big is a two-lined spittlebug?

Two-lined spittlebugs measure 0.3-0.4 in (8 to 10 mm), which is ten times bigger than the fairyfly or Chalcid wasps which measure 0.02-0.4 in (0.5 to 1.0 mm).

How fast can two-lined spittlebugs move?

The two-lined spittlebug moves or jumps around quickly and flies with the help of its wings and fast. It usually jumps from one plant to another.

How much does a two-lined spittlebug weigh?

An adult two-lined spittlebug is very lightweight. Its lightweight body gives added advantage to jump from one host plant to another. Unfortunately, their exact weight is not documented.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The two-lined spittlebug does not have sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby two-lined spittlebug?

After they hatch, the baby bug is called nymphs. These nymphs have four nymphal stages before turning into adult bugs.

What do they eat?

Adult and nymphs feed on plants by sucking their juices or sap. It has unique beak-like mouthparts to tear plant tissues and suck plant sap. Hence these insects are referred as pest which harms plantation and crops causing wilting of leaves.

Are they harmful?

Medically the spittlebugs or the adults do not harm humans. However, these bugs are very harmful to grasses, lawns, and plantations, which causes plants to wilt as they are aggressive feeders on plant saps.

Would they make a good pet?

These bugs may infest and damage only plants and more likely to not be beneficial to vegetation and crops; hence it may not be advisable to grow pests at homes.

Did you know...

Nymphs produce white foam that looks like snow on plant leaves. This insect sucks sap from host plants and using their breathing tubes to produce air bubbles in the clear white liquid that looks like spittle mass.

Spittle masses help to provide hydration as the exoskeleton is not yet developed and also provides protection from other predator species. In addition, studies have confirmed that the spittle mass is not poisonous.

It takes 76 days to complete the egg to egg life cycle under optimal temperature.

Adults and nymphs cause damage to lawns; however, pest research says second generations cause more destruction.

It may face challenges from other insects predator such as fire ants, spiders, carabid beetles, and big-eyed bugs.

How did the two-lined spittlebug get its name?

Spittlebug after egg stage nymphal period starts where it releases frothy bubbles like spit and the adult has two lateral lines on the back of its body. Hence its got its common name as two-lined spittlebug.

What's the difference between a two-lined spittlebug and a froghopper spittlebug?

Froghopper spittlebug insects have a broad back and are narrow at the head end, making them look like frogs, and they jump from one plant to another. In addition, these bugs have a black and red pattern on their backs. These nymphal bugs also produce white bubbles like foam, just like two-lined spittlebug Prosapia.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including paper wasp facts and mayfly facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable two-lined spittlebug beetle pages.

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