Pest of the Month: Asian citrus psyllid

Month: January 2018

Pest: Asian citrus psyllid – Diaphorina citri

Importance: Exotic, report any psyllid observed damaging citrus

Description: Eggs: are laid on tips of growing shoots on and between unfurling leaves. They are about 0.3 mm long, elongate, almond-shaped, thicker at attachment point and the other end is pointed. Fresh eggs are pale, but then turning yellow and finally orange at time of hatching.  Nymphs: always found on new growth, and move in a slow, steady manner when disturbed. They are about 0.25 mm long when hatched and grow to about 1.6mm. They are generally yellowish orange to pale brown with no abdominal spots. They lie flat on the blade of the leaf while feeding.  Adults: are 3 to 4mm long with a light brown head, a brown mottled body and brown markings on the wings. They are covered with whitish, waxy secretion, making it appear dusty. Total life cycle from 15 to 47 days, depending upon the season.They adopt a ‘head-down, tail-up’ position when feeding, will leap when disturbed and may fly a short distance.

Damage: Injury caused by psyllids results from the withdrawal of large quantities of sap from the foliage.The adults feed mostly on the veins of the young leaves and are usually found in large numbers on the lower sides of the leaves.

For further industry pest information refer to the factsheet and at

An initiative of the Nursery Levy funded National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program (NY15004) and ‘Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry’ Project (NY15002).