|Photo by Gene Spesard 3/25/2015|
Inquiring minds want to know: Who's spitting on Sunflower/Aster Family plants? Snakes, toads, humans? For the spit in this photo, we have a Spittlebug nymph to thank. (These insects are also known as Froghoppers.) Alas, it's not really spit, though.
From the Firefly Forest entry)
The "spittle" produced by a Spittlebug nymph is something far more disgusting than spit, it's actually fluid expelled from a Spittlebug's anus, mixed and frothed together with a mucilaginous (moist and sticky) substance secreted by its skin glands. Because they suck watery plant sap all day, Spittlebug nymphs have plenty of anal fluid to use for spit blob making.
Now you know!