Genus Glycaspis
White Lerp Insect
White Fibrous Lerp Insect
Genus Spondyliaspis
Shell Lerp Insect
Genus Hyalinaspis
Clam Lerp Insect
Clam Fibrous Lerp Insect
Brown Clam Lerp Insect
Genus Acizzia
Wattle Plant Lice
Other Psyllids


Jumping Plant Lice, Lerp Insects - Family Psyllidae

This page contains pictures and information about Jumping Plant Lice and Lerp Insects in family Psyllidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Nymph body length 6mm 
Psylloidea is a group of insects commonly known as Jumping Plant-lice and Lerp Insects. The vast majority of Australian psylloids belong to the family Psyllidae. 
They are sap-sucker and highly host specific. Adult psylloids resemble tiny cicadas. They are from 1 to 10mm in body length. They have two pairs of  membranous wings held roof-like over the body. Their long antenna is 7-10 segmented. Their legs are modified for jumping. 
DSCN0772.jpg (104416 bytes) DSC_6469.jpg (225056 bytes) DSC_6465.jpg (177793 bytes)
Lerp and Eggs                                                           Larvae with lerp just removed                                 Gall-inducer
The larvae of some species are free-living, some species are gall-inducers and some others are lerp-forming. 
Eggs are laid singly or in clusters on host plants. The eggs are laid on the surface of the leaves, and the first instars, having emerged and found a suitable site to feed, settles down and begins to construct the lerp. There are five instars each of which adds to the lerp, The last instars moves out from under the lerp before the adult emerges. 
Lerps insects are  closely related with Scale Insects. Like Scale Insects, they are sap suckers and often aggregate in colonies. Lerp-insects appear to take the place of the Aphids on Eucalypt and Acacia
They insert their stylets, or mouthparts, into the plant and begin feeding and constructing a lerp, the protection cover. Lerps are formed from the sugar and wax excreted by the insects. Those materials harden on contact with air to form the protection. Lerps vary in size, colour and shape. Each species has its own characteristic. They can be cones, univalves, bivalves or fan shapes, white to dark brown in colours. The species can be divided into several distinct groups solely on those characters.

DSC_6466.jpg (161718 bytes)Genus Glycaspis - Glycaspis is the largest genera in family Psyllidae. Some Glycaspis sp. cause shallow pit galls. Other (subgenus Synglycaspis) cause large vesiculate galls. All of them construct typical lerps and their host plants are Eucalyptus

wpe7.jpg (56510 bytes)Genus Spondyliaspis - This Lerps Insects form shell shaped scale protection. They can be found on bottom side of Gum tree leaves. The lerp is uniformly brown in colour. It is hemispherical in shape resemble a shell.

DSC_7431.jpg (213321 bytes)Genus Hyalinaspis - All species in genus Hyalinaspis construct typical clam-shell shape lerps and their host plants are Eucalyptus. They construct a simple laminate lerp in bivalves shape. Lerps may look similar in different species though it varies in shape and smoothness.

DSC_5148.jpg (164799 bytes)Genus Acizzia - Most Acizzia species are found on Acacia as host plant. Nymphs are free-living and can be found on leaves or stems of host plants.  

Other Psyllids

1. Insects of Australia - CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p 449.
2. Family PSYLLIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Faunal Directory.
3. Psylloidea of South Australia - Morgan, F.D. ,Adelaide, South Australia, Government Printer, 1984. 
4. Psyl'list - The World Psylloidea Database, Ouvrard, D., searched on 1 October 2010. 

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Up ] [ Psyllidae ] Aphididae ] Margarodidae ] Pseudococcidae ] Eriococcidae ] Dactylopiidae ] Coccidae ] Diaspididae ] Other Soft Bug families ] Unknown Galls ]


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Last updated: October 10, 2010.