Bactericera cockerelli

Potato/tomato psyllid


It is a pest of huge economic importance, which initially affected potatoes and in recent years has become a problem for other Solanaceae crops such as tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, and tobacco. The potato psyllid was considered a minor pest until it was found to be responsible for serious crop damage, both directly and indirectly, the latter causing the greatest concern and proving difficult to control. In light of this, the export of fruit from susceptible crops to some parts of Europe, and the import into Mexico, is difficult, since Candidatus Liberibacter is considered a quarantine pest.

Lifecycle and appearance of the potato/tomato psyllid

The eggs are egg-shaped with a bright orange-yellow colour. They are attached to a strand which connects them to the surface of leaves and can be found on the underside and leaf edge. Hatching occurs three to seven days after being laid. They pass through five nymphal stages. The key characteristics are their flat, oval-shaped appearance, distinctive red eyes, and waxy strands around their body. The entire development process lasts around 12 to 24 days, during which they visibly change colour over the different instars, starting with orange, then greenish-yellow, and finally green. When they hatch, the adults have a yellowish-green colour and whitish wings, which become transparent over time, and their bodies become a dark brown or black colour with white or yellow lines and a distinctive white stripe on the abdomen. They are small in size, around 2.5 mm, and they live between 20 and 60 days.

How to get rid of the potato/tomato psyllid

More information about the potato/tomato psyllid