Potato or Tomato Psyllid, Bactericera (=Paratrioza) cockerelli

Host: Various solanaceous plants serve as hosts including tomato, potato and eggplant. Weed hosts include nightshade.
Symptoms: Adults and nymphs have piercing sucking mouthparts and feed primarily on leaves. Leaves are damaged by removal of nutrients from the plant and by a toxin injected by the insects during feeding. Leaves become curled and yellow or purple in response to the feeding damage. Damage can result in reduced yields and / or death of the plant.
Life Cycle: Psyllids probably do not survive the winter in Oklahoma. Adults migrate into Oklahoma in early spring and begin feeding and laying eggs. Eggs hatch in 3 to 8 days dependent upon temperatures. Nymphs feed and mature through 5 instars in 15 to 20 days before becoming adults.
Description: The adult psyllid is pale with dark bands across the body and looks like a miniature cicada. The adults are approximately 1/16 inch long with wings that fold 'roof like' over the body. The eggs are very small, light yellow colored, spindle-shaped and are suspended from leaves on stalks. Nymphs are very small, pale green and look like scales.
Control: Please contact your local county extension office for current information.
Return to Main page