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Pest Information

Asian citrus psyllid

  • Latin Name: Diaphorina citri
  • Common Name: Asian citrus psyllid
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details


This pest is native to Asia, but now has spread to other tropical regions throughout the world and was first discovered in Florida in 1998. Subsequently it has spread throughout the southern states to Louisiana as well as to California and the important citrus industry there.


This pest is an extremely important pest of citrus, vectoring the disease called Huanglongbing or “greening” disease, a fatal disease of citrus trees. Females deposit up to 800 eggs in their lifetime, placing the eggs on the tips of new shoots of citrus. Over the next 2 to 7 weeks the nymphs pass through 5 instars and become adults, feeding continuously on the new shoots of the host plant. As they feed they produce a toxin that is passed into the plant to cause dieback and distortion of the leaves. They also acquire and vector a bacterium that causes the disease that can kill the tree.


Adult insects have fully developed wings that are held folded and roof-like over the abdomen while at rest. They are about 4 mm in length and a mottled dark brown to gray color. The wings have a darker border around them and they produce a waxy material that often coats much of their body with a white, powdery appearance. The antennae are light colored but with black tips.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Insecticides will effectively kill the psyllid, but the extent of its spread makes it difficult to eradicate. Agriculture officials also are using the release of beneficial predators and parasites, such as wasps, lacewings, and ladybird beetles, and these have proven effective in some cases.

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