Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Hoppers

On the hottest day of the year so far, it seems a little odd to be discussing jumpers! but these two little beasties are far from woolly. The first was found clinging to our patio doors this morning. A common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius).

Best known for their nymph stage as it produces and lives in the white froth found all over plants during the spring, known as Cuckoo Spit. Although you rarely see the animal itself unless you start digging in the 'spit' to look for it.

The adult froghopper is a most impressive athlete. Capable of jumping vertically 70cm into the air, it out-jumps the flea relative to it's size. It would be about the equivalent of an adult person leaping onto the roof of the Telecom Tower from a standing start! The acceleration it achieves while doing this is also phenomenal about 4000 m/s over the first 2mm ov the jump!
The second little jumper is this small Toadlet (Bufo bufo).

Isn't he sweet? Seen all over the place around Shipley Park at the moment, you have to be very careful where you put your feet as they hop and walk across the paths. As they are only about 1/2" long, they are only too easy to miss as the sad spectacle of all the squashed bodies proves.
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