Potential insect predators of tomato-potato psyllids in Australian potato fields

Commencing in the 2014/15 potato season, we are identifying and counting the number of the potential predatory insects of the tomato- potato psyllid (TPP) that are caught on yellow sticky traps being placed in potato fields as part of the surveillance programme to monitor for incursions of the psyllid. The results will be provided on this web site as they are collated.

Based on overseas research (particularly in New Zealand and the USA), the main insect predators commonly found in Australian potato fields that are likely to feed on TPP eggs, nymphs and adults, if it establishes in this country are:

  • Predatory bugs - various species, in particular the Damsel bug (Nabis kinsbergii);
  • Lacewings – in particular the Brown Lacewing (Micromus tasmaniae) and possibly the Green lacewing (Mallada signata);
  • Predatory beetles – including the Red and blue beetle (Dicranolaius bellulus) and various species of ladybirds, in particular the Transverse ladybird (Coccinella transversalis) and Common spotted ladybird (Harmonia conformis);
  • Hoverflies – various native and introduced species including Melangyna viridiceps, Simosyrphus grandicornis and Eristalis tenax.

For further information and photos of these predators see ‘Insects and Diseases of Australian Potato Crops’ by Horne P, De Boer R & Crawford D (2002), Melbourne University Press.