Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter spit? Wonder Nymph!

As I rose one day early in a winter morning and walked through the meadow, I found the indecent behaviour of somebody spiting out on the grass. There was the spittle on the leaf blade of the grass clasping it around. I was irritated about it and walked carefully avoiding it. Later I wondered to know from an article in a daily that it is an act by an insect's nymph and not by a human!

The insect is the Spittlebug (Lepyronia quqdrangularis, Diamond-backed spittle bug, Spit bug, Froghopper,). This insect's eggs hatch out as the nymphs.

Each nymph feeds on the grass juice and secretes the spittle, that is commonly called as winter spit, frog spit or the snake spit. It is seen actually inside the spittle! It grows and moults into an adult insect. It often shifts its location to secrete a new spittle. The spittle is said to protect the nymph from its predators, as it is distasteful. The spittle bug has 'V' shaped marks on its back on each side. It eats grass and shrubs.

This is a wonder nature of this wonder nymph that made me later to wonder more about it when I separated out a nymph with a stick from one of the 'spittle' myself !

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