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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Strange nest in our tree


bug nest
bug nest  
I have attached an image of a nest situated on a tree in my yard.  It appears to be surrounded by bubbles and drips a clear sticky fluid to the paving below.  I have never seen anything like this before.  I first noticed it a few days ago and it appears to have gotten slightly bigger over the past few days.

I am very curious as to what it might be?

Dear Travis - Foam structures like this usually are formed by sap-feeding insects in the family Cercopidae (spittle bugs) - see for some examples. If your tree were directly above water, a foam-nest tree frog (see also might be a possibility. In either case, it is nothing that will cause harm to the tree.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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