The olive psyllid, is a secondary pest that can be found frequently in the olive grove. It is an insect hemiptero of the family Psyllidae, with scientific name Euphyllura olivina Costa, 1839.
Although he is not pleased to find psyllid present in the olive tree, the farmer must focus on fighting pests or diseases of greater relevance (Verticillium, repilo, Prays, olive fly, Colletotrichum sp in olives, cochinilla, barrenillo..)
Characteristics of olive psyllid
In adult state it is greenish color and is just 2-3 mm in size, it receives its common name “ olive psyllid” by a cotton y substance secreted by the anal glands of the larvae.
The eggs are just 0.3mm in size and elliptical. The initial color of the eggs is white, although it has evolved towards orange yellow.
The nymphs are globose and slightly larger than 1mm. They perform 5 molts before finishing the metamorphosis. Its color is initially yellowish and progressively turns brown.
Distribution: the psyllid plague is widespread in all olive growing areas of the Mediterranean.
Psyllid biological cycle
First generation: It lasts approximately one month. It begins with the sprouting of the olive tree and ends during the beginning of flowering.
1.- Exit from hibernation: psyllid adults spend the winter refugees at the base of twigs or buds. They begin their activity during the beginning of spring, coinciding with the olive sprouting.
2.- Sunset: During the spring the females of Euphyllura olivina lay their eggs on the shoots.
3.- Food: The larvae feed on the flow of sap made from the olive tree.
Second generation: it develops mainly on the inflorescences. After the generation, the adults remain at rest.
Third generation: during the autumn a third generation of psyllid is produced, this is the generation of least consideration and impact on the olive tree.
Damage caused by the psyllid of the olive tree
The plague called olive psyllid causes damage that is difficult to perceive. These damages are direct or indirect.
The direct damages are a consequence of the extraction of sapfrom the olive tree (reduced sprouting, increased ovarian abortion).
These damages are only noticeable when the level of infestation is very high.
On the other hand, the indirect damages are due, as in the case of black scale, to the exudation of molasses that can support the mushroom of the Negrilla.
The consequences for the farmer of this pest are generally superfluous or invaluable.
Olive psyllid treatment
It is very unlikely that we will have to perform a treatment against the psyllid of the olive tree.
The climatology is the best ally against Euphyllura olivina, which requires dry springs to reach large populations.
The treatments against the olive psyllid of the olive tree are usually carried out when there is a population of 10 larvae of Euphyllura olivina by inflorescence. The organophosphorus products are very effective, although we must ensure that they are still authorized by the ministry at the time of application.
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