The adult Tomato –Potato Psyllid is about the size of an adult aphid but looks like a tiny cicada under magnification . The female lays yellow eggs that are attached by stalks to plant leaves, usually to the leaf edges. Psyllid nymphs hatch from these eggs and after five moults become adults. The nymphs are flat scale-like insects which are mostly inactive but move when disturbed. Nymphs and adults feed by sucking plant juices, which is how they are thought to spread Liberibacter.
Nymphs and adults secrete plant sap as white granules called ‘psyllid sugars’ which can be seen on the leaves. In humid conditions and where there are large numbers of psyllids, black sooty mould fungi can grow on the sugars. Dense sooty mould on leaves may reduce photosynthesis, but this is rarely a problem on outdoor plants as the psyllid sugars are usually removed by wind and rain.
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