Archivos de diario de junio 2022

05 de junio de 2022

Every nearctic psyllid genus not yet pictured on inat, and where to find them

It's 2022 and it feels like a lot more people are looking for bugs these days. Here are the remaining nearctic* psyllid genera we don't have pics of yet:

*technically a couple of these are neotropical genera that are probably restricted to southern florida, but I'm still going to list them

Limataphalara (1 species, Southern Florida, on Nectandra coriacea)
Leurolophus (1 species, southern Arizona and Texas, on Rhus virens)
Telmapsylla (1 species, Florida, on Avicennia germinans)
Hemitrioza (1 species, eastern USA, on Lactuca, Sonchus? We have this species on bugguide, let's get it here too)
Levidea (1 species, Arizona, on Parthenum incanum (supposedly))
Neotriozella (3 species, but the most common one in the eastern USA has been reared from Styrax americana. It's probably already on inat but unidentified if i had to guess. Also images on bugguide. But if my california friends are looking for a target and are disappointed by the lack of californian options on this list, there is also a California Neotriozella that has never been photographed yet. Host is unknown, but try looking at Styrax redivivus or maybe a related plant, if I had to guess. Good luck!)

And that's it! The host plant is most likely more important than the listed distribution; for example, the mangrove psyllid Leuronota maritima was observed by James Bailey on mangroves in Texas despite only being recorded from Florida. So if any of these hosts are in your area, definitely worth checking for psyllids. Click a hostplant above to see the inat observation range map for that plant.

Publicado el junio 5, 2022 05:50 MAÑANA por psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

18 de junio de 2022

Help me find psyllids on Snowbell (Styrax sp)

Background. Styrax grows in the the eastern USA and California and until recently was not considered to be a hostplant for psyllids. On May 31 2018 Charley Eiseman submitted to bugguide a psyllid reared from a nymph found on American Snowbell (Styrax americana) which I identified to be Neotriozella pyrifoli. A few days later, Tracy Feldman submitted an observation of psyllid nymphs on the same host plant. The nymphs were found numerously along the dorsal surface of the midrib of the leaves. In May 2021, inat users Chloe and Trevor Van Loon submitted a psyllid from California from California Snowdrop Bush (Styrax redivivus), and I determined the psyllid to be the species Neotriozella sculptoconus. Based on these observations, it would appear that psyllids in the genus Neotriozella (for which host plant associations were previously unknown) are specialists on Styrax*

Observations of Neotriozella are rare, owing in part to the fact that the host plants have been historically unknown. Excluding the Arizona species Neotriozella hirsuta which appears to instead belong to the genus Metatrioza, there are three known species of Neotriozella in the USA, represented by two total observations on iNat. Here's what we know about them so far:

  1. Neotriozella pyrifoli: Distribution: eastern USA, from Louisiana north to Nova Scotia. Host: Styrax americana. Host range: Southeastern USA. It is likely that this species uses a different species of Styrax in the northern parts of its range. Additionally, there are no images of this species on iNat. Can you help fill the gaps?
  2. Neotriozella sculptoconus: Distribution: California. Host: Styrax redivivus. Host range: California endemic. We have only one image of this species on iNat so far. Let's find some more.
  3. Neotriozella laticeps. Distribution: southeastern USA. Host: Unknown. We have a couple images of this species, but the host is unknown. Searching Styrax in the the southeastern USA may uncover new data to help understand this species.

Other potential hosts. Styrax grandifolia in the southeastern USA, Styrax platanifolius in Texas, and Styrax japonicus in the northeastern USA may be potential hosts for either these or (maybe!) undescribed species of Neotriozella. And yes, I am including the Japanese Styrax japonicus because even though it is not native, there are psyllids on this host in Japan...

How to photograph psyllids if you find them. If you are only able to take a single photo, take a lateral shot, but the most important shot for this group of psyllids shows the face. In the genus Neotriozella, the genal cones are closely appressed, unlike many similar species which have divergent genal cones.

We have only two observations of these Styrax psyllids so far, but we know a lot more than we did even just a few years ago. Let's try to find out more about them :)

Publicado el junio 18, 2022 11:04 MAÑANA por psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de junio de 2022

Brief notes on psyllids associated with Cirio, aka Boojum Tree (Fouquieria columnaris)

Background. Cirio, also known as Boojum Tree (Fouquieria columnaris) is a striking desert plant which is endemic to Baja California, related to the Ocotillo which is common in the deserts of the southwestern USA. Outside of its native range, Boojum Tree may be occasionally used in desert landscaping, botanical gardens, etc, especially in southern Arizona and California.

Calophya is a genus of psyllids primarily associated with plants in the family Anacardiaceae. In North America, most species are associated with Sumac (Rhus) whereas in South America most species are associated with Peppertree (Schinus). There are some exceptions to the rule however, such as the North American Calophya oweni which breeds on mistletoe. Another notable exception is Calophya dicksoni which breeds on the Boojum Tree. The species was first discovered in Punta Prieta, Baja California, by R.C Dickson in late May 1949, who wrote "nymphs and adults were always found together on the Cirio leaves ... the nymphs were so thick in places that the plants were covered with pellets of dried honeydew." I know of no further records of this species other than the type series.

Identification. Calophya dicksoni is similar to other species of Calophya such as the californian Lemonadeberry Psyllid Calophya californica, but is readily identifiable by the presence of 4 pale longitudinal stripes on the thorax similar to what you might find in Cacopsylla species. It can be identified as Calophya by the large cubital cell and the position of the anal break which is distant from the cubital cell.

Closing thoughts. To my knowledge Calophya dicksoni has never been seen in over 70 years. It may very well be restricted to Baja California, but it could also just as easily show up on planted Boojum Tree in California or Arizona. Either way, if you ever run into this plant I don't think it would hurt to check the leaves for the thick dried honeydew as Dickson originally described... who knows, perhaps it could lead to the rediscovery of this species.

Publicado el junio 19, 2022 12:39 TARDE por psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de junio de 2022

Notes on the Avocado Psyllids

Background. Avocado (Persea americana) is a plant that probably needs no introduction. The plant is grown around the world and everybody loves avocados! Probably less loved, however, are the creatures responsible for doing this to avocado leaves:

image credit: © José Humberto Castañón González, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)

If you have an avocado tree growing in your backyard or somewhere else in your neighborhood, you've probably never seen these leaf galls. Unless you happen to live in Mexico, where Trioza anceps - the psyllid responsible for these galls - is the most frequently observed native Mexican psyllid on iNaturalist.

As of now, the psyllid is not known to be established in the USA or elsewhere outside of its native range in Mexico/Guatemala, where it is quite common. For a plant that has been imported around the world, it is unusual that one of its primary parasites has not yet been inadvertently introduced as well, as has happened with so many other plants (the Asian citrus psyllid comes to mind), though it may just be a matter of time. But while Trioza anceps is common in Mexico, it does not seem to be present in other parts of Persea americana's native range such as South America, which may indicate that the psyllid is very narrowly host specific to only the Mexican/Guatemalan race/subspecies of Avocados.

Species. Trioza anceps is the most commonly observed avocado psyllid due to to the conspicuous nature of its galls, but it is actually just one of at least four species of Trioza on Avocado. All appear to have fairly narrow natural distributions, again indicating that species may have a preference for specific races/subspecies of avocados. The four psyllid species are outlined below.

1. Trioza anceps. Creates leaf galls projecting on the upper surface of the leaves, as pictured above. Mexico/Guatemala
2. Trioza perseae. Similar to Trioza anceps, but leaf galls project from the ventral surface of the leaf. Peru/Columbia. Tuthill notes that this species only effected indigenous South American avocados not the Mexican/Guatemalan variety, even though some of the foliage intermingled. I could not find any evidence of this species on iNaturalist in South American Persea americana observations.
3. Trioza godoyae. This species does not create leaf galls like the previously mentioned species but instead creates marginal leaf roll galls, similar to those created by the Red Bay Psyllid (Trioza magnoliae) on Persea palustris. Known only from Costa Rica. While these galls should be conspicuous, there are no examples of this species yet on iNaturalist.
4. Trioza aguacate. Adults are similar to Trioza anceps, but nymphs do not induce leaf galls. Instead, they cause the deformation of leaves and young shoots. Known only from Mexico, apparently sympatric with Trioza anceps.

Publicado el junio 21, 2022 12:21 TARDE por psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario