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Australian Wildlife

  Melaleuca psyllid (Boreioglycaspis melaleucae)





Melaleuca psyllid | Boreioglycaspis melaleucae photo
Melaleuca psyllid

Image by ARS Image Library - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



MELALEUCA PSYLLID FACTS

Identification
The Melaleuca psyllid is a sap sucking bug. Adult psyllids are pale yellow or white with grey or black markings. The tips of the antennae are grey. The wings are transparent with yellow veins. The eyes are pale with a dark spot. Adult insects often trail their hind legs behind them when walking. When disturbed they jump or fly away. Nymphs are sedentary and secrete white waxy filaments from the back of their abdomen while feeding. These filaments of wax covers their bodies and adheres to branches and leaves in a heavy infestation.

Size
adult length about 3mm

Food
Both adults and young feed on sap of melaleuca trees. They feed on soft new growth of melaleuca plants. Young seedlings can be severely damaged by psyllids attack, and older plants can be stunted.

Breeding
Female psyllids lay about 80 eggs which hatch after about two to three weeks. The nymphal stage lasts about three to four weeks.

Range
Found throughout Australia. The Melaleuca psyllid has been introduced into the United States of America as a biological control against melaleuca. Melaleuca quinquenervia was introduced to USA from Australia and has infested over 200,000 hectares in southern Florida causing extensive environmental damage.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hemiptera
Family:Psyllidae
Genus:Boreioglycaspis
Species:melaleucae
Common Name:Melaleuca psyllid