Biosecurity threat, not present in Australia

Philaenus spumarius

Meadow froghopper


Many of the insects depicted on these pages are outwardly similar and you should not use photographs as the sole means of identification. These pages form part of a scientific key which will assist a trained entomologist to identify the species accurately.

Philaenus spumarius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name: Meadow froghopper

Family/Subfamily: Aphrophoridae

Distribution: Palaearctic region from Japan and China to the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, North Africa, New Zealand.  

Economic Status: The meadow froghopper has a wide host range and has been reported to cause dwarfing and damage to fruit (CABI 2018). It has been shown to be capable, under experimental conditions in California, to transmit the xylem-resident Xylella fastidiosa, the causative agent of Pierce's disease of grapevines and similar diseases of citrus, peach, lucerne, plum, coffee, almond, blueberry, oleander, elm, oak, plane, mulberry and maple (DAWR 2018). Saponari et al. (2014) identified P. spumarius as a vector in the first European outbreak of X. fastidiosa in 2013.

Notes: Adults are about 5–7 mm in length. Despite its drab brown and black colouring, P. spumarius has at least five distinct colour morphs ranging from completely black to completely brown to varying combinations of stripes, patches and mottling (See Balaban & Balaban 2004).