Sep 19

Pest of the Month August 2012 – Asian Citrus Psyllid

  • Hosts: Restricted to Citrus and closely related Rutaceae, such as mock orange 
  • Distribution: Hawaiian Islands – Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, and Lanai.  Other U.S. – Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, California, Puerto Rico, andGuam.  Also found in southeast Asia, South America, Middle East, and the Caribbean
  • Damage: Stunting and twisting of young shoots and severe curling of leaves
  • Identification: Adults are small (3-4 mm) with mottle brown wings and are active, jumping insects.  Eggs are bright yellow deposited on emerging plant shoots.  Nymphs are green or dull orange.
  • Vectors: Asian Citrus Psyllid is known to vector Citrus Greening Disease (CGD) which has devastated Citrus in Asia, Africa, and Brazil.  CGD is caused by a bacteria, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus Garnier.  Symptoms include mottling and/or interveinal yellowing of citrus leaves and misshapen, green, and bitter-tasting fruit.  There is no known cure for CGD.  Thus far CGD has not been found in Hawaii.

Reference:

Asian Citrus Psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, by Patrick Conant, Clyde Hirayama, Bernarr R. Kumashiro, Ronald A. Heu, and Cheryl L. Young, State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture New Pest Advisory No. 06-01, Updated February 2009.

Asian Citrus Psyllid adult. Photo by R. Heu, courtesy Hawaii Department of Agriculture.