Journal archives for February 2017

February 26, 2017

Native Psyllids recorded from Orange County, CA

This post is meant to serve as an overview of the native psyllids known from Orange County, California, based on a review of published and unpublished records as well as original data. While collections made in Orange County represent less than 1% of California psyllid material, it's an interesting area to study as it is the only California county that falls entirely within the EPA-defined ecoregion of southern California coastal chaparral and oak woodlands. In contrast, surrounding counties cross at least partly into mountain and desert ecoregions, and as such many older records that list only county for the locality offer an incomplete picture on where a species was found. While the sample size of Orange county collections is small, it offers a general idea of the psyllids that can be expected to be found not just in Orange county but in adjacent chaparral and oak woodland communities in southern California.

Psyllids from willows (Salix)

1. Bactericera californica
  • Recorded from: Laguna Beach (Crawford 1914); Lake Forest (James Bailey 2016, inat)
  • Recorded host: Red willow (Salix laevigata?)
  • Notes: This does not appear to be a common species. There is no published host record beyond Salix, but James Bailey recorded one adult (and one nymph of potentially the same species) from Red Willow in Lake Forest; this could be the preferred host.
2. Bactericera minuta
  • Recorded from: Irvine (Chris Mallory 2016 - new county record)
  • Recorded host: Goodding's willow (Salix gooddingii)
  • Notes: While several species of willow have been recorded for this species, I have found them to prefer Salix gooddingii, on which I have reliably found them in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The nymphs can often be found on the undersides of the leaves in late spring.
3. Bactericera salicivora 4. Cacopsylla alba
  • Recorded from: Olive; Santa Ana River bank (Jensen 1951)
  • Recorded host: Sandbar willow (Salix exigua hindsiana)
  • Notes: This seems to be a common species, with a definite preference for Sandbar Willow, at least in California.
5. Cacopsylla curta
  • Recorded from: Laguna Beach (Crawford 1914); Newport Beach (Chris Mallory 2017)
  • Recorded host: Arroyo willow (Salix lasiolepis)
  • Notes: Other than the ubiquitous Bactericera cockerelli. this is the most commonly collected native psyllid in California, where it is found up and down the coast on Arroyo Willow. Further inland it is replaced by other willow-feeding Cacpsylla species.


Image Credits, left to right: Bactericera californica © James Bailey 2016; Bactericera minuta; Bactericera salicivora; Cacopsylla curta © Chris Mallory 2015-2017

Psyllids from Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus)

6. Cacopsylla brevistigmata
  • Recorded from: Modjeska Canyon, Santa Ana Mountains (CSCA)
  • Recorded host: Birchleaf Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides)
  • Notes: Cercocarpus is the second-most used host for psyllids in California, with 12 species in the state associated with the plant. However, most of these species are known only from northern California, or from montane areas including the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Mountains; only 3 species have been recorded from Orange county. It is noteworthy, though, that all 3 of these species were recorded from just two dates in May 1993, from just two sites in the Santa Ana Mountains. Further study may reveal additional species present in the region.
7. Nyctiphalerus cercocarpi
  • Recorded from: Modjeska Canyon, Santa Ana Mountains (CSCA)
  • Recorded host: Birchleaf Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides)
8. Pexopsylla cercocarpi
  • Recorded from: Modjeska Canyon, Santa Ana Mountains (CSCA)
  • Recorded host: Birchleaf Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides)

Image credit: Cacopsylla brevistigmata © Alice Abela 2016

Psyllids from other hosts

9. Bactericera maculipennis 10. Calinda collaris 11. Calophya californica 12. Craspedolepta minutissima 13. Craspedolepta viridis
  • Recorded from: Newport Beach (OSAC)
  • Recorded host: Alkali Heath (Frankenia salina)
  • Notes: This appears to be a rare species, known from just a few records. The host, Alkali Heath, is often abundant in coastal salt marshes, and the psyllid could be underrepresented in collections due to its small size (just 1.3mm according to Tuthill). Further sampling of the host is probably necessary.
14. Diclidophlebia fremontiae
  • Recorded from: San Juan Capistrano (CSCA)
  • Recorded host: California Flannelbush (Fremontodendron californicum)
  • Notes: It's unclear to me whether California Flannelbush occurs naturally in some parts of Orange county or if it was planted there, but its psyllid associate, endemic to California, appears to occur wherever its host does.


Image credits, left to right: Bactericera maculipennis © Cedric Lee 2016; Calinda sp. © Alice Abela 2015; Calophya california, by Jesse Rorabaugh 2016; Diclidophlebia fremontiae © Chris Mallory 2016

Native/pest psyllids in Orange county

15. Bactericera cockerelli
  • Recorded from: widespread
  • Recorded host: Many Solanaceae spp., including native species such as Lycium and crops such as tomato, potato, and eggplant
  • Notes: While native to the southwestern USA and probably native to California, this psyllid, which probably originally fed on Lycium, has since become an important pest of tomato, potato, eggplant, etc. It is by far the most collected psyllid in the state and is probably one of the most recognizable species of psyllid.

Image credit: Jesse Rorabaugh 2016

Psyllids that could potentially occur in Orange county

The most species-rich host plant for psyllids in California is Ceanothus. While several species of Ceanothus occur in Orange county, strangely no Ceanothus psyllids have been recorded here to date. As Ceanothus psyllids have been recorded from all surrounding counties, it would probably be reasonable to assume that they occur in Orange county as well, and further sampling on this host could potentially reveal these species.

In addition to these, there are a number of non-native species recorded from the county which I may cover at a later time in another post.

Images are used for illustrative purposes and photo credit goes to @silversea_starsong , @glmory , @cedric_lee , & @alice_abela ; full credit appears under images where used and all images link to the original inaturalist observation (but if you'd rather not have your images/observations linked here I would be happy to remove them).

Posted on February 26, 2017 01:18 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 12 comments | Leave a comment