Psylla mali Schmidberger Apple sucker

This insect is a potentially damaging pest of apple but rarely occurs on regularly sprayed

Fig. 185 Forewing of glasshouse leafhopper. Hauptidia maroccana (x25).

Fig. 186 Cereal leafhopper, Javesella pellucida (x15).

trees. Heavy infestations are particularly damaging at the pre-blossom stage, when the nymphs cause the petals of the opening buds to turn brown; this often leads to the death of blossom trusses. These symptoms are often mistaken for frost damage. Nymphal attacks on foliage are of little significance; feeding by adults also appears to be of no economic importance.

BIOLOGY

This pest overwinters as eggs on the fruit spurs of host plants, laid usually along the leaf scars; they may also occur on the shoots and around the base of leaf buds. The eggs hatch in the spring, usually during April. The nymphs soon gain access to the buds, as these begin to open. The nymphs develop through five instars and, although attacking leaves, are most numerous in blossom trusses. They excrete globules of honeydew and also produce white, waxen threads, which often highlight the presence of the pest. Nymphs are fully fed in late May or early June. The new adults remain active on host trees throughout the summer, and fly readily when disturbed; mating, followed by egg laying, occurs in August and September, and may also extend into the autumn. There is just one generation annually.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 2.5-3.0mm long, mainly apple green, yellowish-green or brownish-yellow; wings transparent. Egg 0.4 mm long, elongate-oval, pale yellow. Nymph flat, oval-bodied, yellowish or pale brown (when young) to bright green; eyes red and conspicuous; wing buds very noticeable in older individuals.

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