Have you been seeing a lot of this "spit" stuff in your gardens this spring? We sure have! More than usual, we think. So I hauled out the camera and took a stroll around our Wildscape to shoot some photos. I found spittle on salvias, coneflowers, mealy sage, you name it.
I even found a mound of spit on the underside of a red galeana sage. I picked up a small stick and poked around in it. Out came a small green critter. It moved so fast that I couldn't get any good shot. I almost trashed the image below, but I kept it when I saw that it shows from whence the spittle comes from: "The 'spittle' is derived from a fluid voided from the anus and from a mucilaginous substance excreted by epidermal glands." [Bugguide]
These are spittlebugs nymphs! I'm not for certain, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say they could be meadow spittlebugs (Philaenus spumarius) because they have black antennae.
I found this interesting video on the "Meadow Spittlebug" by Rod Innes. In the meantime, are spittlebugs harmful to our plants? I'm not worried. We'd have to have MASSES of them, I think, before our gardens would be decimated.