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Apple sucker

Cacopsylla mal (Schmidberger)
Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Psyllidae

Adult resembles a miniature cicada, greenish yellow to yellow in color but sometimes containing reds or browns, with eyes pale green to reddish brown, and long slender antennae; wings are transparent and iridescent (A). The nymph is pale yellowish green with green eyes, body short and broad with a flattened appearance, and rounded posteriorly, with prominent wing pads (B, arrow).

Distribution

Southeastern Canada and south into New England and NY.

Damage

Attacks apple. Motile stages are "flush feeders" that suck sap from newer, tender growth, and secrete excess fluid as honeydew. This collects on leaves and fruits, provides a good medium for sooty mold growth, and can kill leaf tissue. Excessive feeding and injection of toxic saliva can cause wilting and premature leaf drop.

Similar Species

The pear psylla (Cacopsylla pyricola) is closely related, but can be distinguished by its darker coloration and the fact that it does not occur on apple.

Management

Spring egg-laying can be suppressed by prebloom oil applications. Many predacious insects are their natural enemies, but many commercial production practices (applications of broad-spectrum insecticides, highly refined summer oil, or insecticidal soap) will provide incidental control.

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