Journal archives for June 2017

June 01, 2017

April - May 2017 were top two months on record for North American psyllid observations

Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to look for and observe these tiny and often frustrating-to-photograph insects. The more observations we make, the more we can learn about them and their habits (but that goes for more than just psyllids!)

This May was the best month on record in terms of number of nearctic psyllid observations (116) and number of species observed (38), and that's assuming there aren't more observations that haven't been tallied yet. This beat the record set just this April (110 observations of 34 species), and both months destroyed the previous record set in May 2016. which saw 69 observations of 33 species. About 3/4 of observations made this year were made on iNaturalist, beating out BugGuide for the first time ever (good job you guys).

To put into perspective what 38 species in a single month means, consider the fact that in the decade from BugGuide's conception in 2004 until the end of 2014, only 34 species of psyllids were identified from just over 500 observations. Today, I recognize 122 nearctic species from photos across BugGuide, iNaturalist, and Flickr, representing about a third of the total fauna. 2017, in just five months, has seen nearly 300 total observations of 58 species from 73 unique contributors. That's on pace to beat 2016's record of 389 observations of 73 total species from 118 contributors - and there are still 7 months left in 2017. In 2016, 51% of the year's observations were made after June 1st.

Contributors in 2017 have so far found 8 species which had not yet been photographed in years prior. Six native species from California: Ceanothia mitella by James Bailey, Cacopsylla nigranervosa by Alice Abela, Trioza phoradendri by Jesse Rorabaugh, Craspedolepta martini by James Bailey, Freysuila phorodendri by Rebecca Marschall, & Ceanothia boharti by Alice Abela, and two species from Arizona, Aphalaroida spinifera and Leuronota maculata, both from Salvador Vitanza. In 2016, sixteen new species were photographed - can that record be broken this year?

June can be considered to be the last "good" month for psyllids. After this month, numbers can probably be expected to drop off as several species begin to migrate from their hosts to other plants for the winter, causing them to become much less reliable to find.

For a complete overview of the year's observations to date, I have a spreadsheet for that:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rw-I7pMLVicUnWS96gPaGRhPR907zOnQwyRX1YL0azY/pubhtml?gid=177577037&single=true

Posted on June 01, 2017 21:16 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 2 comments | Leave a comment