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Philaenus spumarius
Scientific classification

Stål, 1864

8, see text

Philaenus is a genus of insects belonging to the family Aphrophoridae, the spittlebugs.

The meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius is a common insect in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and it is sometimes a pest on crops such as alfalfa.[1] It is important to science because its entire genome has been sequenced.[2] It has also been the subject of many studies of genetic diversity because it displays marked color polymorphism. There are eleven known color phenotypes, with individuals taking various dark, pale, mottled, and striped patterns.[3] Most other Philaenus species are also color polymorphic.[4]

Many species are polyphagous, feeding on a number of plants. Some species specialize on one host plant, the common asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus).[5]

There are eight species in the genus.[6]

Species include:[6]


  1. ^ Owen, D. F., and R. G. Wiegert. (1962). Balanced polymorphism in the meadow spittlebug, Philaenus spumarius. American Naturalist XCVI(891) 353-359.
  2. ^ Stewart, J. B., & Beckenbach, A. T. (2005). Insect mitochondrial genomics: the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cercopoidae). Genome, 48(1), 46-54.
  3. ^ Brakefield, P. M. (1990). Genetic drift and patterns of diversity among colour polymorphic populations of the Homopteran Philaenus spumarius in an island archipelago. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 39, 219.
  4. ^ Drosopoulos, S., Maryańska‐Nadachowska, A., & Kuznetsova, V. G. (2010). The Mediterranean: Area of origin of polymorphism and speciation in the spittlebug Philaenus (Hemiptera, Aphrophoridae). Zoosystematics and Evolution, 86(1), 125-128.
  5. ^ Maryańska-Nadachowska, A., et al. (2013). Chromosomal location of rDNA clusters and TTAGG telomeric repeats in eight species of the spittlebug genus Philaenus (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Aphrophoridae). European Journal of Entomology, 110(3), 411-418.
  6. ^ a b Maryańska-Nadachowska, A., Kuznetsova, V. G., & Abdul-Nour, H. (2008). A chromosomal study on a Lebanese spittlebug Philaenus arslani (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Aphrophoridae). European Journal of Entomology, 105(2), 205.

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