Redgum Lerp Psyllid – Glycaspis brimblecomei
Redgum Lerp Psyllid – Glycaspisbrimblecomei
Common Name: Redgum Lerp Psyllid
Latin Name: Glycaspisbrimblecomei
These are laid on the leaves at random or in clusters of 50-75 eggs, generally at an angle or perpendicular to the plant’s surface. They are spindle-shaped, yellow or cream in colour, and less than 1 mm long.
There are four nymphal phases, often known as instars. Size varies up to the final instar, which is typically 1.5-2.0 mm long. The body colour is yellowish orange, with dark-brown colouring on the wing pads, legs, antennae, final abdominal segments, and dorsal portions of the head and thorax. They range in size from 1-4 mm in diameter depending on stage of development and are typically white in appearance, but can become grey or black with age. Nymphs do not develop white flocculent wax secretions like some other euphrys feeding species, but instead employ the lerp covering for protection..
The genal cones, which are a typical morphological characteristic of most psyllids, are two cone-shaped extensions of the frons that can extend anteriorly or downward. These are around 4-5 mm long from the head to the wing tips. The adult is yellow or light green in colour, with dark eyes and occasional dark-brown patterns.
Redgum Lerp Psyllids are native to Australia and occur in California. B. occidentalis has been found in Mexico and New Zealand
Damages caused by Redgum Lerp Psyllid:
Adults and nymphs of psyllids eat by sucking phloem sap through their strawlike mouthparts. The majority of the feeding damage is caused by nymphs. Adults and nymphs secrete sticky honeydew, which supports the growth of blackish sooty mould fungus. When redgum lerp psyllids are numerous, infested plants shed their leaves early. Extensive defoliation caused by psyllid feeding weakens trees and makes them more susceptible to harm from other insect pests as well as abiotic and pathogenic illnesses. Sticky honeydew and dark sooty mould foul affected trees’ leaves and surfaces, and blackish to brown, sticky leaves litter the ground. Honeydew attracts ants, and yellowjackets, which can annoy or harm people, are occasionally lured to feed on honeydew.
Life history and habits:
Psyllid nymphs and adults feed sugary phloem. Honeydew is a sticky waste product secreted by psyllid nymphs and adults after they eat phloem. As nymphs eat, they might use honeydew excretions to construct a protective white cap known as a “lerp,” which is visible on eucalyptus leaves. Under this crystalline covering, nymphs eat and develop to maturity. After maturing, winged adults leave the lerp’s shelter and fly to other plants to mate, dine, and lay eggs.