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CURRENT MOON
 
PSYLLID
 

common name: Psyllid, Jumping Plant Lice

scientific name: Order Hymenoptera, family Psyllidae, many species

size: Adult--1/32" to 3/16"

identification: The large, easily visible ones have black bodies with clear wings, which they hold over their bodies like a gabled roof. Nymphs are flat and oval and don't look like the adults.

biology and life cycle: Egg, nymph, and winged adult. Most are free-living, although some species make the galls on hackberry leaves.

habitat: Trees and garden plants.

feeding habits: Sucking, causing curled, deformed stems and leaves.

economic importance: Damaging to new leaves. Some species carry a disease known as "psyllid yellows." There is a small psyllid that causes the stems of potato plants to swell up and turn purplish, which really hurts production of farm crops.

natural control: The egg-eating and predator insects such as lady beetles and green lacewings. Birds and other insectivorous animals.

organic control: Garlic or plant oil sprays, biodiversity, and healthy plants.

insight: The potato psyllid is so small that it isn't detected until the damage is done. Prevention through an organic program is the best control.


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