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Diana M. Percy
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are around 24 species in the genus Cardiaspina, grouped
into four species groups by Taylor (1962).
Illustrated (right) are the adult and the five nymphal stages. The
photos show examples of 'lerps' which are protective coverings of
sugar and carbohydrate exudates produced by the nymphs. Adults do
not make lerps. The three lerps pictured at the bottom are from
C. tenuitela, C.
densitexta and C. albitextura,
and are only slightly different. The adults and nymphs of these
three species are morphologically indistinguishable (cryptic species).
Taylor (1962) described the species based
on the slight difference of the lerp and the occurrence on different
Eucalyptus host plants. As some Cardiaspina species
cause conspicuous leaf necrosis during feeding, and in outbreak
years heavily infested trees may die completely, the reproductive
biology and population dynamics of this psyllid group is of broad
Multiple haplotypes of
the three cryptic species, C. tenuitela,
C. densitexta and C.
albitextura, were sampled for a region of the cytochrome
oxidase I mitochondrial gene (equivalent to position 1718-2329 of
the Drosophila reference sequence, Clary
& Wolstenholme 1985).
The molecular data partly
supports the taxonomic delimitations: C. tenuitela
and C. densitexta are monophyletic
taxa and are sister species. These two species also share a denser
textured lerp, and occur on host plants in the same Section and
Subsection of Eucalyptus. C. tenuitela
(ACT) and C. densitexta (NSW) are both
localized species. C. albitextura on
the other hand is a widespread species in southeastern Australia
occurring on hosts in two Sections of Eucalyptus. The lerp
of C. albitextura is less dense. This
species appears to be paraphyletic, with the haplotypes from the
Adelaide region of SA distinct from the other haplotypes sampled.
The small molecular divergence between some haplotypes from SA and
those from NSW and ACT (>1000 km apart) could have been effected
by man made distribution and planting of the host species (E.
camaldulensis and E. blakelyi).
and sequencing of the 12S region was undertaken by Geoff
Australian Capital Territory, SA = South Australia, NSW = New South
Wales. Two ** indicate bootstrap support values
greater than 90% in both neighbour-joining and maximum parsimony
analyses. One * indicates greater than 90%
in neighbour-joining only.
The acoustic data supports
the taxonomic delimitations, and also supports the sister species relationship
between C. tenuitela and C.
densitexta (shorter, faster calls). C. albitextura
has a longer, slower call, which is surprisingly consistent over the large
geographic range of this species. The geographic range of C.
tenuitela and C. densitexta does not
overlap, but both of these species occur sympatrically with C.
albitextura, although on different hosts. The divergence in call
type between the tenuitela-densitexta
lineage and C. albitextura may therefore
have arisen sympatrically as a species recognition system and to reinforce
reproductive isolation between host adapted lineages.
This research is funded by
The Leverhulme Trust with
an equipment grant from the Systematics
Association. I have collaborated with Gary
Taylor (University of
Adelaide) on work with psyllids. Molecular data were generated by
Clary, D.O. & Wolstenholme, D.R. (1985) The mitochondrial
DNA molecule of Drosophila yakuba: nucleotide sequence, gene
organization, and genetic code. Journal of Molecular Evolution
Taylor, K.L. (1962) The Australian genera Cardiaspina Crawford
and Hyalinaspis Taylor (Homoptera: Psyllidae). Australian
Journal of Zoology 10, 307-348.
to: psyllid Home page, psyllid
acoustics, psyllid morphology,
Macaronesian island psyllids, Pacific
island psyllids, psyllids of economic importance,
psyllid/host plant database, psyllid bibliography
All images and
sound clips, unless otherwise noted, are copyright © Diana M. Percy
Created 2002. Updated 20/01/2005.
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