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Hackberry Gall Psyllid

Pachypsylla sp.

 

Pachypsylla galls photo © by Mike Plagens

This Netleaf Hackberry (Celtis laevigata reticulata) was supporting a very large population of psyllids. It was found in Rackensack Canyon, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA.

Psyllidae -- Jumping Plant Louse Family

Net-leaf Hackberry trees almost always harbour a population of Pachypsylla gall psyllids, aphid-like bugs sometimes called jumping plant-lice, that reside within the leaf petioles. These swollen structures might appear at first to be a fruit of some kind. The bugs produce an irritating substance similar to a plant hormone that causes the petiole to swell providing both room and board for the uninvited guests. The structures become very hard and durable and remain on the tree through the winter providing the psilids a very secure home.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2008