Euphyllura straminea Loginova
(May have been confused with Euphyllura olivina (Costa))
Common name: Olive psyllid
Host plants: Olives.
Geographic distribution: Mediterranean region.
Morphology: The adult psyllid is 2-3 long, yellow-green, the wings greenish with darker spots. The nymphs are also greenish, and all stages are covered with a withish wax secretion.
Life history: (These data may refer to either E. straminea, or to E. olivina, or to both). The adults pass the winter in shelters such as crevices on the olive branches and trunk, beginning to lay eggs as new shoots appear, on the top of twigs or among the leaves of minor shoots. A female can lay several hundred eggs and the total life cycle may require about 3 months, depending on the olive cultivar. The optimal temperatures are 20-25°C. These psyllids, which excrete much honeydew, have strong wings and usually jump before flying. Adult psyllids occur all the year round, and in warmer regions undergo a reproductive dormancy during summer and autumn, raising 2-3 annual generations.
Economic importance: During heavy infestations, the waxy strands excreted by the pests, especially on the inflorescences, cause much injury and give the tree a snow-covered appearance. The wax accumulates on the foliage and stimulates premature flower, bud and fruit drop. The excreted honeydew, which is colonized by sootymolds, adds to the damage. Reductions in olive yield have come, in some cases, to 40-60%. This psyllid (or psyllids) is probably the most serious pest of olive in Iran.
Horticultural methods: Pruning in winter, removing infested plant parts, espcially suckers.
Plant tolerance: Olive cultivars whose flower buds and young shoots have a higher phenol content were attacked by only half the number of psyllids as were cultivars with a lower phenol content. Spraying of the natural phenol compound, (3, 4 dihydroxy phenol ethanol, abbreviated to 3,4 – DHPE) on infested olive seedlings much the pest numbers and damage, probably by inducing resistance to the pest.
Monitoring: The appearance of the white wax, especially on the inflorescences, indicates the presence of the pest. Population densities greater than 20 nymphs/inflorescence can cause serious losses.
Chemical control: Sprays should be applied prior to blossoming, before the pest covers the flowers with wax, as this wax can protect the psyllid from some insecticides.
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Elwan, E., El-Sayed, Abdel-Hamid. 2001. Ecological studies on the olive psyllid, Euphyllura straminea Loginova (Homoptera:Psylloidea: Aphalaridae) in Al-Arish, North Sinai, Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Agricultural Research 79: 161-178.
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