Journal archives for December 2016

December 11, 2016

California Psyllid Watch: Island Mallow Psyllid

Island Mallow (Malva (formerly Lavatera) assurgentiflora) is a plant endemic to the California Channel Islands, but also grows along the California coastline from San Diego north to San Francisco. There is another California endemic species, the psyllid Bactericera lavaterae, which I'll call the Island Mallow Psyllid (IMP) which is tied specifically to this plant. The psyllid does not seem to be particularly rare, and it can be sometimes be found in large numbers on its host. However, you'll notice that this species is not represented on iNaturalist, or on BugGuide, or well, pretty much anywhere.

But that's not to say there are no photos of it on iNaturalist. In fact, there are several, all photobombing Island Mallow submissions. Take a look at this observation from Nicole LaRoche in February 2015, for instance. There are actually over half a dozen psyllids in this photo:

Image © Nicole LaRoche(CC BY-NC 4.0)

If you take a look at that image again, you'll notice that the leaves, especially the leaf right above the flower, is covered in blister-like impressions. This is the most conspicuous sign of IMP's presence. On the ventral surface of the leaves, close examination of those depressions would reveal the nymphs. Nicole's image was taken on Anacapa Island, but the psyllid, like its host, is no longer limited to the Channel Islands: it is recorded throughout the host range, from San Diego to San Francisco. Here is another iNat observation, from user jemhikes, from San Diego. You'll notice immediately the blister-like impressions on the leaves, and if you zoom in, you should be able to find two psyllids, one on the leaf and another on the flower.

While winter is not exactly psyllid season, you'll notice that these two observations were taken in January and February, and the psyllid has been commonly taken in December as well. Therefore, now is the best time to start looking for this species. If you know of any locations where Island Mallow is grown, take a look at the leaves for signs of its existence in the form of leaf blisters. If blisters are present, take a look at the ventral surface of the leaves for nymphs, and be on the lookout for adults! Close-up photos and observations of this species would be very useful contributions.

Posted on December 11, 2016 06:53 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 19, 2016

2017 target species Part 1: Psyllids

I don't think it's too crazy to aim to photograph at least 100 new-to-me Hemipterans in the coming year... it wouldn't be too unreasonable for 30 of those to be psyllids, right?

*Craspedolepta veaziei complex - Goldenrod Psyllid
*Pachypsylla celtidisasterica - Hackberry Star Gall Psyllid
Pachypsylla celtidisgemma - Hackberry Twig Gall Psyllid
*Pachypsylla celtidismamma - Hackberry Nipple Gall Psyllid
Pachypsylla celtidisvesiculum - Hackberry Blister Gall Psyllid
*Pachypsylla cohabitans - Inquiline Hackberry Psyllid
Pachypsylla venusta - Hackberry Petiole Gall Psyllid
Macrohomotoma gladiata - Curtain Fig Psyllid
Euphyllura olivina - Olive Psyllid
Neophyllura arbuti - Madrone Psyllid
Freysuila phorodendri - Mistletoe Psyllid
*Cacopsylla americana complex - Western Willow Psyllids
Cacopsylla annulata - Sugar Maple Psyllid
Cacopsylla insignita - A Mountain Mahogany Psyllid
Cacopsylla notapennis -Currant Psyllid
*Cacopsylla quadrilineata - Eastern Willow Psyllid
Ceanothia boharti - Bohart's Ceanothus Psyllid
*Ceanothia essigi - Essig's Ceanothus Psyllid
*Euglyptoneura fuscipennis - Dark-winged Ceanothus Psyllid
Pexopsylla cercocarpi - A Mountain Mahogany Psyllid
Psylla alni - An Alder Psyllid
Psylla floccosa - An Alder Psyllid
Psylla viridescens - An Alder Psyllid
Bactericera californica - A Willow Psyllid
Bactericera lavaterae - Island Mallow Psyllid
Heterotrioza chenopodii - Chenopodium Psyllid
*Kuwayama medicaginis - A Psyllid
Trioza brevigenae - Ficus Leaf Rolling Psyllid
Trioza obtusa - Serviceberry Psyllid
Trioza phoradendri - Mistletoe Psyllid

Posted on December 19, 2016 21:41 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 8 comments | Leave a comment

December 21, 2016

2016 in review

Despite its share of disasters, 2016 was a solid year, and overall I recorded about ~200+ new-to-me animal species. Here's a collage of the ones I got photos of (surely I missed a few).








Posted on December 21, 2016 21:00 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 1 comment | Leave a comment