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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri)

Host plants / species affected
Citrus aurantiifolia (lime)
Citrus latifolia (tahiti lime)
Citrus limon (lemon)
Murraya koenigii (curry leaf tree)
List of symptoms/signs
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

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.

Prevention and control

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:

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).

Biological Control

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.

Phytosanitary Control

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).

Resistant Cultivars

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).


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.

Related treatment support
Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Hasnain, M.; CABI, 2012, English language
Hasnain, M.; CABI, 2012, Urdu language
Thipse, C. D.; CABI, 2012, Tamil language
Thipse, C. D.; CABI, 2012, English language
Pest Management Decision Guides
UK, CABI; CABI, 2014, Spanish language
UK, CABI; CABI, 2014, English language
CABI; CABI, 2014, Portuguese language
León González, R.; Vicente Orozco, J.; Soto, G.; CABI, 2014, Spanish language
Nuñez, C.; Fortin, C.; Castillo, A.; Castillo, E.; CABI, 2013, Spanish language
External factsheets
USDA-NAL National Invasive Species Information Center Species Profiles, USDA-NAL National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC), 2012, English language
Pestnet Factsheets, Pestnet, English language
DPI NSW factsheets, New South Wales Government, Department of Primary Industries, Australia, 2012, English language
DPI NSW factsheets, New South Wales Government, Department of Primary Industries, Australia, 2012, English language
Pestnet Factsheets, Pestnet, English language
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