Forestry in South Africa
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FABI Articles : Update on Glycaspis brimblecombei (red gum lerp psyllid)

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Update on Glycaspis brimblecombei (red gum lerp psyllid)

The red gum lerp pysllid, Glycaspis brimblecombei, is a pest of Eucalyptus species that has spread from Australia into many Eucalyptus growing countries, where it can cause substantial losses. This insect was first detected in South Africa in 2010 on street trees, but has only recently (earlier in 2013) been detected in Eucalyptus plantations. Currently, G. brimblecombei has been detected in plantations in the Mpumulanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, although its exact distribution within these regions is not known.

As part of the process towards the management of this pest, we are currently working towards screening the main Eucalyptus species planted in South Africa to determine their level of susceptibility. In addition, we are in the process of introducing a biological control agent, Psyllaephagus bliteus, into the quarantine facility at the FABI Biocontrol Centre to investigate host specificity, with the goal of applying for permission to release the agent (as was done with Selitrichodes neseri, the biocontrol agent recently released for Leptocybe invasa).

Please notify us if you detect this insect in your plantation, as this information will assist us in understanding the spread and damage of this insect, and inform decisions around host susceptibility studies.

For further details on this insect, please refer to our website
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Brett Hurley (PhD)
on behalf of the TPCP Team
Researcher and Senior Lecturer
Department of Zoology and Entomology
Tree Protection Cooperative Programme (TPCP)
Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)
University of Pretoria

Phone: +27 12 420 5822
Fax: +27 12 4203960