Red gum lerp psyllid / Glycaspis brimblecombei

Red gum lerp psyllid / Glycaspis brimblecombei
Glycaspis brimblecombei
Sap sucking

Low infestations result in leaf wilt and abscission. Heavy infestations may result in leaf drop, branch dieback and tree death. Infested leaves are covered with waxy secretions and honeydew, on which sooty mould grows.

Adults have long, well-developed genal cones and the nymphs construct distinct white cone like structures called lerps. Eggs are small, ovoid and orange in colour, they can be laid singly, but are often laid in clusters. 

Adults are mobile and females are reported to lay up to 700 eggs. The eggs hatch in 10-20 days and the nymphs will pierce the plant tissue with their stylet (mouthparts), feeding on the xylem. The nymphs develop under white, conical structures called lerps which they build from exuded sugars and wax. In Australia there are two to four generations per year.

The parasitic wasp, Psyllaephagus bliteus, was reported in South Africa in 2015. Planting of resistant material is also a possible management strategy.

2012 (Bush et al. 2016)
Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West
Various eucalypt species.


White conical lerps on eucalypt leaf
Adult female
Eggs on eucalypt leaf
Black sooty mould growing on leaves infested with Glycaspis
Adult male
Eggs and five nymphal instars

Bush SJ, Slippers B, Neser S, Harney M, Dittrich-Schröder G, Hurley BP. 2016. Six recently recorded Australian insects associated with Eucalyptus in South Africa. African Entomology 24:539-544.