Psyllid or Lerp insects

Psyllidae family

Family: - Psyllidae

Order: - Hemiptera



Colour - Yellow or brown

Body - Up to 4mm. Oval. Flat. Soft.

Wings - Transparent. Wing-span 6mm

Mouthparts - Stylet. Sucking. Near rear of head.

Antennae - Very small. 3-10 segments.

Eyes - 2 Compound.

Legs -Very small. Feet (Tarsi) have 4 segments.

Head - fused to thorax.

Thorax - 3 segments.

Abdomen - Eight pairs of spiracles on underside. Segments ill defined

Egg - brown, ovoid. Less than 0.5mm long.

Habits - Scales are formed on the leaf and the nymph feeds below the scale. These may be of various sizes and shapes.


Usually 5 stages (instars). Look quite different to the adults.

Often orange. They move when the leaf is tapped.


Life Cycle:

Eggs hatch to produce nymphs that are active form May to November. Adults appear in summer and lay batches of 50-100 eggs.


Origin and History:



Severe defoliation of trees may result from lerp insect attack. The nymphs shelter under the lerp scale and suck sap from the leaf. This often causes a reddening or browning of the leaves.

Death of trees may result after a number of severe attacks.

Management and Control:

Related Species:

Aphids, various 'bugs' leafhoppers and scales.

Similar Species:


WADA. Insects and Allied Pests of Extensive Farming. Department of Agriculture - Western Australia Bulletin No. 4185. p87.


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