Perspectives on Nature Photography
with 31 comments
Date: September 7.
Place: Northeast Metropolitan Park in Pflugerville.
Wireweed: Symphyotrichum subulatum, a.k.a. hierba del marrano.
Written by Steve Schwartzman
November 11, 2016 at 5:35 AM
Posted in nature photography
Tagged with entomolgy, insects, nature, plants, Texas
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I am probably one of the few people who really likes spittle bugs. Nice photo.
Maria Gianna Iannucci
November 11, 2016 at 5:40 AM
I’ve rarely seen the insects themselves but their masses of tiny bubbles are a common sight in nature in central Texas.
November 11, 2016 at 7:19 AM
They are here as well. It is my goal to catch a glimpse of the little creatures!
November 11, 2016 at 7:24 AM
These insects don’t want to be seen but you can easily part the bubbles to have a look inside. Happy viewing.
November 11, 2016 at 7:36 AM
I like spittlebugs too, Maria🙂
November 11, 2016 at 10:29 AM
I like the challenge of chasing the mysterious! Have a good day Melissa.
November 11, 2016 at 10:32 AM
YES! That ‘s what it is about spittlebugs🙂
November 11, 2016 at 10:41 AM
November 11, 2016 at 10:42 AM
Plenty of your spittlebug’s cousins in my garden at the moment. Impressive spittle!
November 11, 2016 at 6:20 AM
Ah, one big happy international family.
The bubbles are minuscule, but together they do make an impression—at least for those of us inclined to be impressed by such things.
November 11, 2016 at 7:34 AM
Spittlebugs love my mint. I have yet to ingest spittle or spittlebug but I fear I may one day. That will be an interesting experience when it happens.
November 11, 2016 at 8:17 AM
You’ve reminded me of an old riddle. What’s worse than finding a worm in the apple you’re eating? — Finding half a worm.
November 11, 2016 at 8:26 AM
Ha! Very true.
November 11, 2016 at 8:28 AM
We see a lot of these in Oklahoma too, though I cannot say I ever saw one when I lived in Nebraska.
I wonder why not. They’re in Nebraska too:
November 11, 2016 at 7:40 AM
What an interesting picture! I’ve never before seen something like that!
November 11, 2016 at 9:43 AM
Then happy new to you. Spittlebug spittle is a pretty common sight in Austin, so I suspect that these insects inhabit your neck of the woods as well. At certain times of the year I’ve found masses of bubbles on many plants. For example, at the time in June when I saw the bubbles shown at
a lot of the Indian blankets nearby looked similar.
November 11, 2016 at 10:16 AM
Thx for the link.
November 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM
You’re welcome. I bet you’ll see some of these now.
November 11, 2016 at 11:55 AM
I’m always delighted when I come across these in the field.
November 11, 2016 at 10:31 AM
Are they pretty common up your way?
November 11, 2016 at 11:54 AM
Oh yes, they love the prairie and river edges. I haven’t paid much attention to them; I imagine there are ones that are specific to certain hosts. Like dodder~ I was surprised to learn that a few summers ago.
November 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM
My understanding is that some species of dodder are specialists and others are generalists. I’m guessing, as you surmise, that at least some spittlebugs are specialists because I’ve seen instances in which spittle occurs on many plants of a given species but not on other nearby plants.
November 12, 2016 at 10:39 AM
Yes and there are some plants that just don’t look right if their leaf miner’s trails are absent🙂
November 12, 2016 at 10:42 AM
I know what you mean. I often see those trails in the leaves of frostweed.
November 12, 2016 at 11:49 AM
I once had a friend whose last name was Spittle, but I never bugged her about it.
I also like finding these and once in a while am lucky enough to see a spittle-less bug which you have already seen. https://sggphoto.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/07-24-2014-brickyard-dew-drops/
November 11, 2016 at 5:21 PM
Good play on words in your first sentence.
I remember your picture of the spittleless spittlebug. I’ve read that people sometimes mistake these critters for leafhoppers, which aren’t related.
November 11, 2016 at 6:40 PM
The uniformity of the bubbles is striking. This reminded me at first of some of your other bubble photos, but this seems to have more texture: a characteristic that makes sense,, given that it isn’t water, but a substance produced by the bug. Actually, it reminds me of egg white on its way to becoming meringue. There’s a stage in the beating process where the white has taken in enough air to be bubbly, but it hasn’t yet begun to stiffen and peak. The similarity’s remarkable.
November 12, 2016 at 9:47 PM
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that physicists and mathematicians have studied bubbles. I’m happy enough just photographing them.
Maybe you can design a dessert whose final stage is bubbly. Especially if frozen, that dessert would add texture to taste.
November 12, 2016 at 11:13 PM
I was weeding the other day and sure enough there was spittle! Great shot Steve 😃
November 14, 2016 at 2:21 AM
That’s nothing to spit at, is it, Julie?
November 14, 2016 at 8:34 AM
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