Cape Broom Psyllid (Arytinnis hakani)
The Cape Broom Psyllid is a sap-sucking bug from Europe that can retard growth, reproduction, spread, and potentially kill Cape Broom plants (both mature and seedlings).
The psyllid was first released in Tasmania in 2009 and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture worked to establish it at sites throughout the State. Through the support of a Landcare Biodiversity Grants project, further releases of the psyllid were conducted in 2014. It has already spread to the majority of the State but numbers have been bolstered by these releases.
Spreading the Psyllid
Site size: the site should have enough Montpelier Broom for the psyllid to breed-up and establish; one hectare of scattered plants or ½ hectare of dense infestation.
When: Spring and summer. Look for plants with good populations of juveniles and adults by shaking a branch onto a dark surface like a black towel, shirt or jumper.
How: Cut Psyllid infested branches and tie or wedge amongst branches of Montpelier broom plants at new site. Transfer in a cool esky and spread within 24 hours.
Self spread: The Psyllid is also very effective at spreading itself via wind drafts, having been found at least 20 km from release sites.
Permission: Make sure you ask for permission before taking or spreading on private or public land.
Information taken from Landcare Tasmania.