Cuckoo Spit and Xylella

rambling ratz

Cuckoos famously herald the start of spring when you first hear one call. Sadly these days the start of spring tends to be heralded by the sound of a neighbour’s lawn mower revving up of a Sunday morning. The cuckoo is in decline. I suspect it is related to the decline of the birds that they parasitise. They are very particular about which other bird nests they lay their eggs in. Not all bird species are fooled by them. Professor Richard Dawkins explains all about it in one of his books – they are all well worth a read. Cuckoos also leap out of clocks to tell you the time. What they don’t do is spit.photo of cuckoo spit on plant

So what causes these frothy blobs on plants? It is the nymph stage of the froghopper, a cute little bug with an impressive ability to jump. When the nymph hatches out of the egg…

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