The Diagnostic Clinic of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) requests your assistance in keeping a lookout for two potential pest species of Eucalyptus on both commercial and ornamental trees in your area. The Shell lerp psyllid (Spondyliaspis sp.) and Eucalyptus gall was (Ophelimus maskelli) pose a potential threat to eucalypt plantations and the clinic has published an update on these pests:

Shell lerp psyllid (Spondyliaspis sp.)

The shell lerp psyllid (Spondyliaspis sp.) – so named due to the characteristic shape of the lerp – is a sap sucking insect, first reported from the Pretoria area in 2014. It has subsequently been found on non-commercial - or ornamental Eucalyptus species near Iswepe, White River, Tzaneen and Melkbosstrand in the Western Cape. Most recently however, this pest was found on commercial E. grandis trees in Swaziland, an E. grandis x E. camaldulensis (GC) hybrid clone near Tzaneen, and E. macarthurii trees near Iswepe. Although infestations at these locations were low, the incidence of this pest on commercial species raises concern over the potential of this insect to become a pest in plantations.  

Eucalyptus gall wasp (Ophelimus maskelli)

The Eucalyptus gall wasp (Ophelimus maskelli), is a gall forming wasp first detected on road side Eucalyptus trees in Midrand, Gauteng in 2014. It has since spread to other areas around Johannesburg and Pretoria, and was most recently reported from the Western Cape in the Stellenbosch area. This pest has not been reported from commercial plantations to date.

Early detection of both these potential pests in new areas will greatly assist in assessing their pest status and informing management strategies. To assist in the identification of these pests please refer to the attached photoplates for symptoms and characteristic features and please report any incidences of either of these pests to Izette Greyling (