EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 07 - 2002 Num. article: 2002/118

Glycaspis brimblecombei: addition to the EPPO Alert List

Considering the importance of eucalyptus-growing in the EPPO region for forestry, paper industry or ornamental purposes, the EPPO Secretariat decided to add the damaging G. brimblecombei to the EPPO Alert List (see article above), bearing in mind that probably other psyllid species may also present a risk which however still needs to be assessed.

Glycaspis brimblecombei (Homoptera, Psyllidae) – red gum lerp psyllid
Why: Glycaspis brimblecombei came to our attention because it was recently introduced from Australia into North America where it causes severe defoliation and some tree mortality. In addition, there are several examples of past or recent introductions of other eucalyptus psyllids, demonstrating that these insects are likely to be easily moved with eucalyptus plant material.

Where: G. brimblecombei originates from Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia). Recently introduced into North America: USA (California in 1998, Florida in 2001, Hawaii in 2001), Mexico (first found in 2000 in Baja California, spread very rapidly and now present in 21 states).

On which plants: Eucalyptus species. Mainly E. camaldulensis, but also other species including: E. rudis, E. globulus, E. diversicolor, E. sideroxylon, E. nicholii, E. lehmannii (in California); and also E. blakelyi, E. nitens, E. tereticornis, E. dealbata, E. bridgesiana. E. brassiana, E. mannifera (in Australia).

Damage: Adults and nymphs feed on sap, they produce large amounts of honeydew on which sooty mould develops. Nymphs construct individual white waxy covers (called lerp) of conical shape. Infested leaves are covered with these waxy secretions, honeydew and sooty mould. Adults (3 mm long, pale green with areas of orange and yellow) tend to live and hide on the underside of the leaves. In Australia, 2 to 4 generations per year are observed. High populations result in withering of leaves, severe defoliation, dieback and eventually tree death (more data would be needed on the extent of tree death).

Dissemination: Adults can fly; over long distances, eucalyptus plant material can disseminate the pest.

Pathway: Plants for planting, cut foliage of eucalyptus from countries where G. brimblecombei occurs.

Possible risks: Eucalyptus are grown in the EPPO region for forestry, amenity, paper industry and ornamental purposes. G. brimblecombei causes problems in areas where it has been introduced (severe defoliation and even tree mortality are reported), and once introduced it can apparently spread very rapidly. Biological control with parasitoids (Psyllaephagus bliteus) seems promising, but needs to be further studied. More data is needed on the biology of the pest, its potential of establishment in Europe and economic impact.

EPPO RS 2002/117, 2002/118
Panel review date: -
Entry date 2002-07


CSIRO – Systematic names. http://www.ento.csiro.au/aicn/systematic/c_1378.html
DOACS – Florida. Pest Alert. Red gum lerp psyllid, Glycaspis brimblecombei by S.E. Halbert. http://doacs.state.fl.us/~pi/enpp/ento/glycaspis.html
Gobierno del Distrito Federal Mexico. Secretaria del Medio Ambiente. Control de la plaga que afecta a el eucalipto. http://www.sma.df.gob.mx/varios/plaga.htm
NAPIS. http://www.ceris.purdue.edu/napis/states/ca/imap/redgum.html
State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture. New Pest Advisory no. 01-02. Red gum lerp psyllid, Glycaspis brimblecombei Moore (Homoptera: Psyllidae) by W.T. Nagamine & R.A. Heu, July 2001. http://www.hawaiiag.org/hdoa/npa/npa01-02_rpsyllid.pdf
University of California Riverside – Red gum lerp psyllid http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/biocon/dahlsten/rglp/RLP_Main.htm
Waynes’ word. A newsletter of natural history trivia. The red gum lerp. A tiny insect that attacks Eucalyptus. http://waynesword.palomar.edu/rgumlerp.htm