Now that this little spittlebug (at most 4.1 mm) is an adult, it feeds out in the open, no longer surrounded by its namesake protective white glob of spittle. The fact that it reached adulthood speaks to the effectiveness of the foamy mass. Multifunctional, it concealed it from predators and parasites, provided thermal and moisture control, and deterred predators with an acrid taste. The Dogwood Spittlebug is distinguished from other species by its yellow-and-black pattern. It uses its beak to tap into the sap of, you guessed it, dogwoods.

Photos by: Kelly Dix on 8/9/21 near Stevensville, MT