Methods

  • Yellow sticky traps are highly attractive to adult TPP and they are used regularly to detect and monitor psyllid populations in New Zealand and North America. 
  • Double sided, yellow sticky traps were purchased from Bugs for Bugs Ltd (Mundubbera, Queensland) and placed in the field by industry partners and members of the research team. 
  • Traps are suspended from wooden or metal stakes at crop canopy level, within crops about 1 metre from the edge. 
  • Traps are changed at approximately weekly or fortnightly intervals during the potato growing season and every 3-4 weeks at other times.
  • Trapping is mainly being conducted in the potato growing regions of northern Tasmania (Devonport-Ulverstone, Scottsdale-Herrick), south-eastern Tasmania (Swansea-Orford-Copping-Richmond), western Victoria (Ballarat) and South Australia (Penola). Traps are also occasionally placed in the potato growing regions of New South Wales (Riverina), eastern Victoria (Koo-wee-rup, Thorpedale), southern Queensland (Lockyer Valley), central Queensland (Bundaberg) and northern Queensland (Atherton Tableland) (see map). Trapping commenced in February 2011 and is ongoing. 
  • As part of the project, we are also collaborating with DPI Victoria to examine their potential of native psyllids caught in potato fields as vectors of Phytoplasma ("Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense") which has also recently been detected in potato plants in New Zealand. 
  • The number of Psylloidea caught on traps was counted under a microscope. 
  • All trapped Psylloidea were distinguished from the genus Bactericera, which is absent in Australia, using the diagnostic characters and keys provided by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry identification protocol.
  • The number and type of potential TPP predators caught on yellow sticky traps were counted and identified.