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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

16 June, 2011

Froghopper (Cercopis Vulnerata)

So who does not know cuckoo-spit when they see? It must surely be one of the first things in nature we see and learn to name in our early years?

Of course, the bubbly secretion on plants has nothing at all to do with the Cuckoo but because it starts to appear when the Cuckoo arrives each spring so it got its country name. The substance is actually secreted by a family of insects known as Aphrophoridae but are better known to us as 'froghoppers'. Very small insects, a few millimetres long, and easily over looked as many of the genera are dull brown and very well disguised as they lurk in the shrubbery.

This one, Ceropis vulnerata, bucks that trend however with its bright red and black attire and being very common they are very easy to find. Although predominantly a spring species you can find them around until July and even in to August.