Potato Psyllid – Tomato Psyllid – Bactericera cockerelli

PotatoPsyllid – Tomato Psyllid – Bactericeracockerelli

Common Name:

Tomato potato psyllid, Potato psyllid, Potato/tomato psyllid, Tomato psyllid

Latin Name: PotatoPsyllid – Tomato Psyllid – Bactericeracockerelli


The eggs are egg-shaped and vivid orange-yellow. They are linked to a thread that attaches them to the surface of leaves and can be found on the underside and leaf edge. Hatching happens three to seven days after the egg is placed. They go through five nymphal phases. Their distinguishing features are:

  • Their flat, oval-shaped look.
  • Unique red eyes.
  • Waxy threads encircle their body.

Host plant:     

The psyllid feeds, reproduces, and develops on a variety of cultivated plant species such as potato (Solanum tuberosum), tamarillo (Solanum betaceum [Cyphomandra betacea]) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), pepper (Capsicum annuum), and eggplant (Solanum melongena).


The tomato-potato psyllid is presumably a native of Central America. It has expanded to North America and has taken root in several states in the United States and Canada.

Damages caused by Potato Psyllid – Tomato Psyllid:

It is an important commercial pest that started with potatoes and has now expanded to other Solanaceae crops like tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, and tobacco. The potato psyllid was thought to be a minor pest until it was shown to be directly and indirectly responsible for significant crop loss, causing the most concern and proving hardest to eradicate. Because Candidatus Liberibacter is classified as a quarantine pest, exporting fruit from sensitive farms to some regions of Europe and importing it into Mexico is problematic.

Life history and habits:

The complete growth process takes around 12 to 24 days, during which they change color from orange to greenish-yellow to green. Adults have a yellowish-green color with whitish wings that grow transparent over time, and their bodies are dark brown or black with white or yellow lines and a unique white stripe on the abdomen as they hatch. They are around 2.5 mm in size and survive between 20 and 60 days.