Diaphorina citri (Asian citrus psyllid)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Species Vectored
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Diaphorina citri Kuwayama
Preferred Common Name
- Asian citrus psyllid
Other Scientific Names
- Euphalerus citri
International Common Names
- English: citrus psylla (Asian)
- Spanish: psila de los cítricos
- French: psylle de l'oranger
- Chinese: ganju musi
- Portuguese: psilideo da l'aranjeira
Local Common Names
- Germany: Suedostasiatischer Citrus-Blattfloh
- DIAACI (Diaphorina citri)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hemiptera
- Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
- Unknown: Psylloidea
- Family: Psyllidae
- Genus: Diaphorina
- Species: Diaphorina citri
DescriptionTop of page
The egg of D. citri is anchored on a slender, stock-like process arising from the plant tissue. It is elongate with a broad basal end and tapering towards its distal and curved end. The average size of the egg measures 0.31 mm long and 0.14 mm wide. Freshly deposited eggs are light yellow, and turn bright orange with two distinct red eye spots at maturity.
The average size of first-instar nymphs is 0.30 mm long and 0.17 mm wide. The nymphs have a light pink body and a pair of red compound eyes. Second-instar nymphs are on average 0.45 mm long and 0.25 mm wide. The rudimentary wing pads are visible on the dorsum of the thorax. The average size of third-instar nymphs is 0.74 mm long and 0.43 mm wide. The wing pads are well developed and the segmentation of antenna is evident. The fourth-instar nymphs average 1.01 mm long and 0.70 mm wide. The wing pads are well developed; the mesothoracic wing pads extend towards the one-third of compound eyes and the metathoracic wing pads extend to the third abdominal segment. The fifth-instar nymphs average 1.60 mm long and 1.02 mm wide. The mesothoracic wing pads extend towards the front of the compound eyes; the metathoracic wing pads extend to the fourth abdominal segment. In some mature nymphs, the abdomen turns bluish-green instead of pale orange (Tsai and Liu, 2000).
The adult is 2.5 mm long, body yellowish-brown, legs greyish-brown. Wings are transparent with white spots or light-brown with a broad, beige, longitudinal band in the centre. Mathur (1975) gives a key to the Indian species of Diaphorina, and a detailed description of the adult. The average size of adult females is 3.3 mm long and 1 mm wide; the mean size of of adult males is 2.7 mm long and 0.8 mm wide (Tsai and Liu, 2000).
DistributionTop of page
The distribution of D. citri is wider than that of the citrus huanglongbing (greening) bacterium Liberibacter asiaticus, the major pathogen which it transmits (EPPO/CABI, 1996a): D. citri occurs in Afghanistan, Macau and Singapore where the bacterium has not been recorded.
See also CABI/EPPO (1998, No. 64).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 17 Feb 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Nigeria||Present, Localized||Oyo state.|
|Hong Kong||Present, Widespread|
|-Jammu and Kashmir||Present|
|-Lesser Sunda Islands||Present|
|-Sulawesi||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|Israel||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|-Kyushu||Present, Few occurrences|
|Malaysia||Present, Few occurrences|
|United Arab Emirates||Present|
|France||Absent, Intercepted only|
|Netherlands||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Present|
|Honduras||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|Mexico||Present, Few occurrences|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Present|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||Present|
|United States||Present, Localized||1998|
|-California||Present, Few occurrences|
|Australia||Absent, Formerly present|
|-Northern Territory||Absent, Formerly present|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Present|
|Papua New Guinea||Present|
|-Rio de Janeiro||Present|
|Uruguay||Present, Few occurrences|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
Like the other vector of citrus greening (Trioza erytreae; EPPO/CABI, 1996b), D. citri is listed as an A1 quarantine pest by EPPO (OEPP/EPPO, 1988) and is also a quarantine pest for CPPC and OIRSA. Besides its role in citrus huanglongbing (greening), this psyllid has significant damage potential in itself. Though biological control may be possible, there is no guarantee that it could keep populations to a sufficiently low level to prevent transmission of huanglongbing.
Habitat ListTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
D. citri is confined to the Rutaceae, occurring on wild hosts as well as on Citrus, especially lemons (C. limon), rough lemon (C. jambhuri), sour orange (C. aurantium), grapefruit (C. paradisi) and limes (C. aurantiifolia). Murraya paniculata, a rutaceous plant often used for hedges, is a preferred host; M. koenigii is a host in India and Sri Lanka.
Sétamou et al. (2016) observed that some native North American rutaceous plants can serve as host plants for D. citri, thus affecting the population dynamics of the pest and the epidemiology of Huanglongbing,
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Citrus aurantiifolia (lime)||Rutaceae||Main|
|Citrus latifolia (tahiti lime)||Rutaceae||Other|
|Citrus limon (lemon)||Rutaceae||Main|
|Citrus limonia (mandarin lime)||Rutaceae||Unknown|
|Cordia myxa (sebesten)||Boraginaceae||Other|
|Ficus carica (common fig)||Moraceae||Unknown|
|Murraya koenigii (curry leaf tree)||Rutaceae||Main|
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
D. citri stunts and twists young shoots, so that the growing tips present a rosetted appearance. Leaves are badly curled, and may be covered with honeydew and sooty mould; leaves drop prematurely.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / abnormal shape|
|Growing point / dieback|
|Growing point / distortion|
|Leaves / abnormal forms|
|Leaves / abnormal leaf fall|
|Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould|
Species VectoredTop of page
Biology and EcologyTop of page
D. citri has a short life cycle and high fecundity (Catling, 1970). It is more prevalent in hot coastal areas. Pairing starts soon after emergence, the insects being most active during March-April in India (Pande, 1971) and May-June in the Philippines (Catling, 1970) and June-July in Brazil (Yamamoto et al., 2001). The host plants (C. jambhiri, C. aurantium, C. paradisi and M. paniculata) on which they were reared had no significant effect on the immature survival and developmental periods or on adult longevity. However, the mean number of eggs laid per female on grapefruit (858 eggs) was significantly more than on other hosts (Tsai and Liu, 2000). Gravid females of D. citri oviposit within 2-cm lengths of the terminal tissue in leaf folds, on petioles, axillary buds, upper and lower surfaces of young leaves and tender stems. The average incubation period of eggs on these four host plants at 25°C is essentially the same, ranging from 4.1 to 4.3 days. All nymphs reared on the four host plants undergo four moults. First- and second-instar nymphs mostly aggregate and feed inside the folded leaves, on the terminal stem and between the axillary bud and the stem of tender shoots. Young nymphs are quite docile and move only when disturbed or over-crowded. The nymphs continuously secrete copious amounts of honeydew from the anus and a thread-like waxy substance from the circumanal glands resulting in the growth of black sooty mould on the lower leaves. The average combined developmental periods for the five nymphal stages are 12.8, 12.6, 13.5 and 13.1 days on orange jessamine, grapefruit, rough lemon and sour orange, respectively.
Adults of D. citri are often found resting on the terminal portion of plant, especially on the lower side of the leaves with their heads either pointing upward or downward to the leaf surface at an angle of 30°. When disturbed they readily take flight for a short distance. The females only oviposit on the tender shoots. In the absence of suitable host tissue, oviposition ceases temporarily. The longest female longevity of D. citri reared on grapefruit, orange jessamine, sour orange and rough lemon at 25°C is 54, 54, 60 and 66 days, respectively (Tsai and Liu, 2000).
In an insectary, at 10, 15, 20, 25, 28 and 33°C, the psyllid populations reared at 10 and 33°C failed to develop. Between 15 and 30°C, the mean developmental period from egg to adult varied from 49.3 days at 15°C to 14.1 days at 28°C. The low-temperature developmental thresholds for the first to fifth instars were estimated at 11.7, 10.7, 10.1, 10.5 and 10.9°C, respectively. The survival of the third to fifth nymphal instars at 15-28°C was essentially the same. The mean longevity of females increased with decreasing temperature within the range 15-30°C. The maximal longevity of individual females was recorded as 117, 60, 56, 52 and 51 days at 15, 20, 25, 28 and 30°C, respectively. The average number of eggs produced per female significantly increased with increasing temperature and reached a maximum of 748.3 eggs at 28°C. The optimum range of temperatures for population growth of D. citri is 25-28°C (Liu and Tsai, 2000). During dry periods, adults are numerous, but nymphs are usually absent. The complete life cycle thus takes 14-48 days, with up to 10 overlapping generations per year. The adults overwinter and can live for up to 6 months. Population fluctuations are closely correlated with the flushing rhythm of citrus trees, as eggs are laid exclusively on young flush points. In southern Florida, USA, D. citri populations occur throughout the seasons on orange jassamine but there are population peaks in October-November, December, May and August, which are positively related to the weekly minimum temperature and rainfall (Tsai et al., 2002).
Yang (1989) carried out an investigation on the effects of light, temperature and humidity on development, production and survival of D. citri. Xu et al. (1994) reported on the longevity of nymphs and adults in Fujian province, China, and recorded that nymphs were killed by temperatures of -1°C and adults by -10°C.
D. citri transmits the Asian form of citrus huanglongbing (greening) disease, Liberibacter asiaticus, under natural conditions in Asia (including Saudi Arabia) (Capoor et al., 1967). It has been shown experimentally that D. citri is also able to transmit the African form, Liberibacter africanus (Lallemand et al., 1986). In Mauritius and Réunion, where both forms occur, D. citri probably transmits both. However, L. asiaticus is not transmitted transovarially by D. citri (Chen, 1998).
D. citri is normally spread only locally by natural dispersal. Citrus material (budwood, grafted trees, rootstock seedlings) from infected areas can carry eggs and/or nymphs over longer distances. Such fifth- or sixth-instar nymphs, as well as the adults born from these nymphs, are capable of transmitting the huanglongbing agent to citrus. This is probably the way in which Liberibacter asiaticum was introduced into Saudi Arabia. The rutaceous plant Murraya paniculata, frequently used as an ornamental bush or hedge, is one of the best hosts of D. citri. Although this plant is not a host for L. asiaticus (Hung et al., 2000), it can carry eggs or nymphs of the vector and its introduction to disease- and vector-free regions could therefore be dangerous. Entry on citrus fruits is extremely unlikely.
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Beauveria bassiana||Pathogen||Rodríguez-Palomera et al., 2012|
|Chilocorus cacti||Predator||Rodríguez-Palomera et al., 2012|
|Cycloneda sanguinea||Predator||Rodríguez-Palomera et al., 2012|
|Entomophthora||Pathogen||Guizar-Guzman and Sanchez-Peña, 2013|
|Olla v-nigrum||Predator||Rodríguez-Palomera et al., 2012|
|Paecilomyces variotii||Pathogen||Adults/Nymphs||China; Zhejiang||Citrus|
|Tamarixia radiata||Parasite||Nymphs||Reunion; Taiwan||Citrus|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
In its native range in southern Asia, D. citri is suppressed by a complex of parasitoids including Tamarixia radiata and Diaphorencyrtus species. T. radiata was introduced into Réunion Island in 1978 and later into Mauritius. On both islands it gave satisfactory control of the pest and suppressed transmission of huanglongbing (greening) disease. Predatory Coccinellidae and Anthocoridae are also recorded from Asia, but most of them have little impact, although Chilocorus nigritus is beneficial in supplementing the action of parasitoids. Aubert (1987) reviewed the natural enemies and concluded that T. radiata is able to control D. citri and prevent transmission of huanglongbing disease when it is free of hyperparasites as in Réunion, but when hyperparasitism is high, as in Taiwan, insecticide applications are necessary to achieve control.
ImpactTop of page
The main economic importance of D. citri is as the vector of the very serious citrus huanglongbing (greening) disease caused by the bacterium Liberibacter asiaticus (EPPO/CABI, 1996a). In addition, D. citri typically causes defoliation and dieback. Serious damage to growing points can occur, which can lead to dwarfing as well as lack of juice and taste in fruit. Heavy D. citri populations can cause blossom and fruitlet drop. The honeydew excreted by D. citri promotes the growth of sooty mould which not only affects the photosynthetic activity of the tree but also attracts ants which fend off natural enemies of D. citri, resulting in additional pest damage.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Dimethoate, pyridaben, chlorpyrifos, imidacloprid and profenofos are used against D. citri in orchards with low infection rates. Dahiya et al. (1994) report on trials on 12 insecticides (organophosphorus compounds and pyrethroids) against D. citri. Chemical control is used for control of the psyllid in citrus orchards in Réunion and mainland China (Aubert and Quilici, 1984; Qian, 1989; Ke, 1991; Xu et al., 1991). Neem oil and petroleum spray oil are also used against D. citri in India and China (Chakravarthi et al., 1998a; Rae et al., 1997).
Tamarixia radiata was imported into Réunion Island from India in 1978 for control of D. citri. It became established and achieved substantial control in the absence of hyperparasitoids. A second imported parasitoid, Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis, failed to become established (Aubert et al., 1980). T. radiata was imported into Taiwan from Réunion in 1983, released and established. However, it was not so successful - although it is able considerably to reduce psyllid numbers, it did not interrupt transmission of greening disease. It was found that hyperparasitoids, disturbance and inability to attack psyllids settling in buds reduced its impact in citrus orchards. It was concluded that T. radiata did have a beneficial value in preventing migration of psyllids from hedges of jasmine orange (Murraya paniculata) into citrus orchards, but that in these orchards, where insecticides are applied to control other pests, chemical control is the only effective remedy (Chien and Chu, 1997). Other members of Syrphidae and Coccinellidae have been reported to feed on D. citri. In Saudi Arabia, T. radiata is present but does not keep D. citri populations down to a low level.
EPPO recommends (OEPP/EPPO, 1990) that importation of plants for planting and cut branches of citrus from countries where Liberibacter asiaticus or L. africanus (the agents of citrus huanglongbing (greening) disease), or either of its vectors occur, should be prohibited. It is possible to fumigate citrus budwood material against D. citri (FAO, l983).
There is limited information available on host-plant resistance to D. citri; 13 citrus cultivars are reported to be highly resistant (Chakravarthi et al., 1998b).
ReferencesTop of page
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Cornejo J F, Chica E J, 2014. First record of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) in Ecuador Infesting Urban Citrus and Orange Jasmine Trees. Journal of Insect Science. 14 (1), 298. DOI:10.1093/jisesa/ieu160
Davis R I, Gunua T G, Kame M F, Tenakanai D, Ruabete T K, 2005. Spread of citrus huanglongbing (greening disease) following incursion into Papua New Guinea. Australasian Plant Pathology. 34 (4), 517-524. DOI:10.1071/AP05059
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López-Collado J, López-Arroyo J I, Robles-García P L, Márquez-Santos M, 2013. Geographic distribution of habitat, development, and population growth rates of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, in Mexico. Journal of Insect Science (Madison). 13 (114), (26 October 2013). DOI:10.1673/031.013.11401
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Molina-Bravo R, Stephens-Cárdenas S A, Hilje-Rodríguez I, Blanco-Vargas M, Villalobos-Navarro D, Gätjens-Boniche O, Moreira-Carmona L, Villalobos-Müller W, 2015. Citrus huanglongbing associated with 'Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus' present in the northern region of Costa Rica but has not been detected in other citrus-growing areas. Plant Disease. 99 (12), 1855. DOI:10.1094/PDIS-05-15-0515-PDN
Muhammad Arif, Attique Ahmad, Muhammad Ibrahim, Sher Hassan, 2005. Occurrence and distribution of virus and virus-like diseases of citrus in North-west Frontier Province of Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany. 37 (2), 407-421. http://www.pjbot.org
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Thomas D B, Leon J H de, 2011. Is the old world fig, Ficus carica L. (Moraceae), an alternative host for the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Kuwayama) (Homoptera: Psyllidae)? Florida Entomologist. 94 (4), 1081-1083. DOI:10.1653/024.094.0455
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