Hemiptera: Family Psyllidae

What are Psyllids?  

Psyllids are tiny sap sucking insects which attack mostly native plants such as lilly pilly. These psyllids resemble miniature cicadas and can only be seen through a microscope or hand lens.

Both juvenile (nymphal) and adult stages do the damage by sucking sap from the leaves. Some psyllids build a protective covering made from wax and honeydew.

There are many psyllids, all of which are relatively host specific. For example, Eugenia psyllid occurs mainly on Australian “brush cherry” (Syzygium paniculatum), Acacia psyllids occur on wattles and albizzia, and Blue Gum psyllid occurs on eucalypts which have waxy blue young leaves.

 

Symptoms

New growth may have dimpling or pock marks on leaves. Leaves can be distorted and terminal shoots dieback. Leaf defoliation of some types of psyllid attack may occur. Sooty mould grows on the crystal like honeydew that the psyllids produce. Leaves may be discoloured.

 

How to Protect your plants

These pests take advantage of weak and stressed plants. Help your plants to stay healthy by keeping the soil moist and feeding them regularly with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. Psyllid resistant varieties of lilly pillies are also available.

 

Plants impacted

  • Lilly Pilly
  • Brush Cherry
  • Wattles
  • Albizzia
  • Eucalypts

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