Step 3: Diagnostic characters

The following diagnostic characters enable TPP to be distinguished from other closely related species:

  • Head with short genal cones (when viewed from above) and distinct whitish markings on the vertex (Fig. 4).
  • Antennae with a disc-shaped rhinarium on the 4th segment (Fig. 5).
  • Shape of male and female terminalia (Fig. 6).

Tomato-potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) 

Fig. 4. Head of the tomato-potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) showing the short genal cones and distinctive white markings on the vertex. Note: the shape, size and intensity of the white markings on the head and body varies between individuals.

Tomato-potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli)

Fig. 5. The antennae of the tomato-potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) have a disc-shaped rhinarium on the 4th segment (circled). Note: the antennae also have a striped appearance due to the lighter colouration of the basal two-thirds of segments 3- 8.

Tomato-potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli)

Fig. 6. Terminalia of the tomato-potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli). Male terminalia are characterised by a proctiger with relatively wide posterior lobes, a paramere that is more slender in the apical half and a subtriangular distal segment on the aedeagus. Female terminalia have fewer diagnostic characters but the top margin of the proctiger is almost straight.

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Monitoring psyllids and psyllid predators in Australian potato crops