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Aphrophoridae, Cercopoidea

Froghopper with extremely widespread UK distribution.

Also known as the Common Froghopper or the Meadow Spittlebug.

This is an extremely common species, which can be found in almost all open habitats, including grasslands, gardens and open forests. Feeds on a wide range of plants across the UK.

Distribution records as at May 2019

Distinguishing features

Philaenus spumarius is a spectacularly variable species, with many dramatically different colour forms, ranging from whitish yellow through to black. See the photo gallery for examples. Adults are 5 - 7mm long and can typically be seen between June and September.


As is typical with froghoppers, they have two stout spines on the outer edge of the hind tibia, as well as several smaller spines at the tip.

Philaenus can be distinguished from Neophilaenus species by the entirely convex outer margin to the forewing (the forewings curve outwards when seen from above). They are distinguished from Aphrophora species by the vertex plate (top of the head) NOT having a median keel i.e. the top of the head is flat, there is no ridge running down the midline of the head.