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Psyllid lerp farm

Glycaspis fuscovena


A single small black ant about 8mm long is tending to fields of lerps. The yellow psyllid eggs can be seen bottom of picture - yet to be planted out :) When another psyllid nymph hatches it will walk out on the leaf and build another lerp (house) from a sugary, waxy secretion. The ant will be offering protection for sugary rewards.


Suburban back yard on eucalyptus.


These psyllids can be serviced by several different ant species and can develop on several species of eucalyptus.

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TKBotting 8 years ago

This is so cool!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Sorry Adarsha - I take back my last comment to you. Apparently my wife's aunts (natives of Kodaikanal) used to talk about the sweet manna they ate from the gum leaves as kids. That means the eucalypts there have at least some of the psyllid species with them. :))

LeanneGardner 8 years ago


RachaelB 8 years ago

Great find! Very interesting indeed.

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 8 years ago

Its very fascinating indeed! I wish u to add some more information in details(description) section....

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Yes they are fascinating lives Adarsha. It's amazing how many species of both ants and psyllids are involved. When eucalyptus is grown overseas, like in the Palni hills, it has none of this life-action associated, and always seems so sterile to me. Thanks for checking it out.

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 8 years ago

Very interesting indeed!

Mark Ridgway
Spotted by
Mark Ridgway

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Nov 19, 2012
Submitted on Nov 19, 2012

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