Have you ever walked underneath willow trees and had drops of ‘water’ fall onto you? Yeah, that’s not a rainy microclimate, but the spit of the meadow spittlebug, or in Dutch ‘schuimbeestje’ or ‘spuugbeestje’.
So what is this spit exactly? It’s the nest of a juvenile spittlebug. While they suck the juice out of a plant, they blow air into fluids released by their anus. These bubbles form their nest, which keeps them safe from predators.
After about 3 months and having molted a couple of times, an adult meadow spittlebug of about 7mm leaves its nest behind, ready for the world. When scared, it can jump up to 70cm away.