Tetragonocephala flava Crawford, 1914

Halbert, Susan E. & Burckhardt, Daniel, 2020, The psyllids (Hemiptera: Psylloidea) of Florida: newly established and rarely collected taxa and checklist, Insecta Mundi 2020 (788), pp. 1-88: 23-24

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Tetragonocephala flava Crawford, 1914


Tetragonocephala flava Crawford, 1914  

( Fig. 90, 91 View Figures 90, 91 )

Materials examined. USA: Florida: Specimens from Alachua, Miami-Dade, and Volusia   counties ( FSCA, dry mounted, ethanol, envelope with dried leaves and lerps).

Diagnosis. Tetragonocephala flava   can be recognized by the lerps on Celtis   leaves ( Fig. 91 View Figures 90, 91 ). Lerps are clam shell shaped and open on the side. They are attached to the undersides of the leaves, often near forks in the leaf veins. Adults resemble the more common Pachypsylla   species, but they are pale and have six dark spots on the mesonotum and one at the posterior tip of the scutellum ( Fig. 90 View Figures 90, 91 ).

Distribution. Tetragonocephala flava   was described from the southern tip of Texas and is known from Mexico ( Ouvrard 2020). Its long presence in Florida, lack of serious damage to hosts, and the presence of a native parasite suggests that it is native to Florida. However, it possibly is adventive in Louisiana, where there was an outbreak that caused serious damage to the trees ( Solomon et al. 1997).

Florida distribution information. Tetragonocephala flava   was recognized in Florida for the first time in April 1997 on Celtis laevigata Willd.   in Oak Hill (Volusia County) (FSCA# E1997-1214) ( Halbert 1997b). Collectors were Avas Hamon, Ru Nguyen, Kenneth Hibbard, and L.J. Chambliss. Previously unrecognized specimens from Florida in the FSCA go back to 1957, when a specimen was collected at Snapper Creek Boy Scout Camp (Miami- Dade County) by sweeping Celtis   . The exact date is unclear on the label, and no collector is mentioned. We have records, but no specimens, from Jacksonville (Duval County) collected 15.viii.1997 (FSCA# E1997-3281), Lake Jem (Lake County) collected 28.vii.1997 (FSCA# E1997-3438). The most recent collection was in Ft. Myers (Lee County) in June 2005, consisting of 6 empty lerps (FSCA# E2005-2972).

Host plants. Celtis laevigata Willd.   ( Cannabaceae   ).

Comments. In Louisiana, major dieback of stands of C . laevigata   was attributed to high populations of T . flava ( Solomon et al. 1997)   . In Florida, no similar destruction of trees was observed, possibly because of a native parasite, Aprostocetus gelastus (Burks, 1943)   ( Eulophidae   ), that controlled psyllid populations ( Halbert 1997a). More recently, the Asian aphid, Shivaphis celti Das, 1918   , ( Aphididae   ) has become established on C . laevigata   in Florida ( Halbert et al. 2000). This aphid is very abundant and may prevent build-up of populations of T . flava   , which, based on submitted samples, has been rare since the establishment of S . celti   in Florida.

Rhinocolinae Vondráček, 1957  

Tainarys Brèthes, 1920  


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology