Pseudacysta perseae: a pest of avocado spreading in the Americas
Pseudacysta perseae (Hemiptera: Tingidae) is a lace bug which feeds on Persea americana (avocado), P. borbonica and Cinnamomum camphora (all Lauraceae). Adults and nymphs feed in colonies on the undersides of leaves. On avocado, feeding damage results in necrotic brown spots which can lead to defoliation and reduced fruit yield (no direct damage to fruits). Until the 1990s, P. perseae was considered to be a minor pest of avocado and its geographical distribution was limited to Florida (US) and Mexico. But during the last 10 years, severe damage to avocado crops has been reported; first in Florida and then in Puerto Rico (in 1990), Dominican Republic (in 1990), Mexico, Bermuda (in 1990), Cuba (in 1996). Further reports were later made in Venezuela (in 2001-2002), French Guiana (in 2003) and California (first found in 2004 but limited to private gardens in San Diego County). In the French Antilles, P. perseae was collected in Martinique in 2005 but no data is available on its current distribution and impact. In 2007, high populations of P. perseae were observed in Guadeloupe damaging avocado. Further surveys showed that P. perseae occurred in many localities and it is suspected that it has been present in Guadeloupe since 2005.
The currently known distribution of P. perseae in the Americas is as follows:
North America: Mexico, USA (California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas).
Central America and Caribbean: Bermuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico.
South America: French Guiana, Venezuela.
Etienne J, Streito JC (2008) Premier signalement en Guadeloupe et en Martinique de Pseudacysta perseae (Heidemann, 1908), un ravageur de l’avocatier (Hemiptera, Tingidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France 113(1), 121-122.
Sandoval Cabrera MF, Cermeli M (2005) Presencia de Pseudacysta perseae (Heidemann, 1908) (Insecta: Hemiptera: Tingidae) en Venezuela. Entomotropica 20(3), 271-273.
Streito JC, Morival Y (2005) Première capture en Guyane française de Pseudacysta perseae (Heidemann, 1908) un ravageur de l’avocatier (Heteroptera, Tingidae). Nouvelle Revue d’Entomologie (NS) 22(2), 191-192.
INTERNET (last retrieved 2008-06)
University of Florida (US). Featured Creatures. Pseudacysta perseae (Heidemann) (Insecta: Hemiptera: Tingidae). Avocado lace bug. http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/fruit/AVOCADO_LACE_BUG.HTM
Hoddle M, Morse J, Stouthamer R (2007) Pseudacysta perseae. Biology and management of avocado lace bug in California. Production Research Report, California Avocado Commission (US). http://www.avocado.org/growers/pdf/symposium-2007/Hoddle-Pests-Lace-Bug.pdf