Cercopoidea (spittle-bugs, froghoppers)
Spittle-bugs are interesting in that the nymphal bugs create their own environment by secreting a froth from anal glands that form a spittle-like foam in which the nymphs live. Thus, they live in a semi-aquatic environment of close to 100% humidity. Other factors, such as temperature and freedom from parasites and predators, may also be ameliorated by the foam.
This is one of two families of spittle-bugs found on the expedition to the Philippines. One species of Clovia is particularly striking with alternating brown and yellow stripes over the whole body. Someone left a note in the CAS collection that this is an undescribed species.
Most of the specimens of spittle-bugs collected on the expedition are from the family Cercopidae. Six different species are illustrated here.
Leafhoppers constitute one of the largest families of insects in the world. Chris Dietrich of the Illinois Natural History Survey estimates that there may be as many as 120,000 species of leafhoppers in the world (NDP, personal communication). Although feeding predominantly on grasses, they can be found in almost any habitat. Several are carriers of plant viral diseases of serious economic importance.
These insects are often among the most noticeable insects in an area because of their vocalizations, which at times can be deafening. They also are among the most common of the large insects. In the eastern United States certain species have nymphal stages that last 13 or 17 years and when mature, the adults can synchronously emerge in huge numbers. Nymphs live on plant roots, and one specimen was collected on the expedition.
Treehoppers are related to leafhoppers and planthoppers, but have a distinctive elongation of the pronotum above and behind the thorax. Two different species of membracids were collected on this expedition.
The current samples contained one specimen of Achilidae. The CAS collection contains four additional specimens from the Philippines, all undetermined. Altogether there are five specimens belonging to five species. Metcalf’s (1948) world catalogue of the Achilidae lists 10 species in 6 genera for the Philippine Islands.
This was one of the most numerous and speciose of the planthoppers collected in the CAS survey. There is one small, strange tribe in this family called Bennini. They are strange in that they have a long tube extending laterally from the base of the abdomen. Three specimens of this tribe were collected. They are being sent to Hannalore Hoch in Berlin for identification.
Members of this family are usually among the smallest of Fulgoramorpha, but there are 1403 species known worldwide (Asche, 1985). They are studied by crop protection specialists because they can transmit viral diseases of such crops as sugar cane and rice. Their most distinct trait is a mobile spur(calcar) at the tip of the hind tibia. Usually this spur is flattend with a row of teeth along the margin. However, one small subfamily (Asiracinae) has a rounded, tooth-like spur at the end of the hind tibia. One of the tribes within this small subfamily is the Ugyopini. While sorting specimens of Philippine delphacids, I noticed that although a couple of specimens were small and had the normal, flattened calcar, most of the specimens were very large and had that long, spine-like calcar.
Charles Bartlett at the University of Delaware has put up on the web a site devoted to delphacids.
A photo of one of the large species was sent to him, who in turn sent it to Manfred Asche at the Berlin Museum. Dr. Asche has specialized on this group of delphacids and thinks that it is a Ugyops. Dr. Bartlett has a listing of world species of Ugyops and lists only one species from the Philippines, U. pictifrons (Mindanao). The recent Philippine collections appear to contain three different species of Ugyops, as well as two other, smaller species. On 29 August Dr. Asche confirmed that all three large species belong to Ugyops in the kinbergi species group.
This family of planthoppers are fungus feeders and far more abundant in the tropics than in the temperate parts of the world. They are often brightly colored. Usually as adults they are extremely laterally flattened with the head reduced to a paper-thin ridge with big eyes on either side. Antennae are also often expanded into flat plates and some temperate species have forked, flattened antennae that look like divided ribbons.
A single, very large specimen of Fulgormorpha was collected at the University of the Philippines near Los Baños. Its family placement was not immediately apparent. One possibility was Dictyopharidae. These insects are usually medium-sized, green, with a long projection in front of the head, although there are exceptions to each of these traits. The collected specimen was large, black, with short dark wing patches on an otherwise transparent forewing, and very short protuberance of the head. In looking through the CAS reference collection, my attention immediately focused on the genus Dichoptera, which caught my eye because of its large size. The Encyclopedia of Life indicates that there are 11 species in this genus. The CAS collection has two of these species, and one of them has specimens from Subic Bay on Luzon. A comparison between between the Subic Bay specimen and the recently collected specimen shows them to be identical. It is Dichoptera hampsoni.
A single specimen of Fulgoridae was collected in The Philippines. By going online, I found that Jerome Constant (2010) had just published a generic revision of Penthicodes and it included 11 species, two of which are found in The Philippines. One of the most distinctive features of the CAS specimen is a white band across the middle of the forewing. Of the 11 species in Penthicodes, only one, P. astraea, has this white band and it is distributed principally in Luzon. Constant’s revision also includes a color habitus photo of this species, and it is clearly the same as the CAS specimen. This is the first specimen of this species for the CAS reference collection.
The Meenopliidae is a small family of Fulgoramorpha confined to the Old World tropics. Metcalf’s (1945) world catalog of the Meenopliidae lists two species from the Philippines: Nisia alba and N. albovenosa.. A third species, Nisia carolinensis Fennah, 1971, was mentioned by Catindig et al. (1995). The CAS Philippine collection contains 10 specimens, including four specimens of Nisia alba. There are several other brightly pigmented species as well.
This is a small family that includes five species in two genera from The Philippines: Mindura alligata, M. maculipennis, M. nubecula, M. subfasciata, and Varcia nigrovittata (Metcalf, 1954). The CAS collection had only a single species, Mindura subfasciata. The recent expedition collections resulted in four specimens in two species. One species has bright red stripes on the frons.
There appear to be two specimens reprsenting two different species in the recent Philippine samples. The CAS reference collection contains three species from the Philippines: Catullia subtestacea, Kallitaxila granulata, and Neommatissus jacobsoni. The specimen from Mt. Banahaw appears to be Kallitaxila granulata, but the second specimen is strikingly colored and quite different from anything in the CAS collection. The world catalogue of Tropiduchidae (Metcalf 1954) lists 25 species in 12 genera for the Philippines. For such a small family, this is a quite a large number of genera and species, and represents a center of diversity for this group.
Coccoidea (scale insects)
Monophlebidae (giant scale insects)
While collecting near Los Baños, the expedition team came across an enormous scale insect in the family Monophlebiidae. Many scale insects are covered with a hard shell, but this individual was soft-bodied. Two images show both the top and bottom of this specimen.