Insects leave scars on leaves

HIT: Scarred leaves remain for many months, long after the insects have gone.
HIT: Scarred leaves remain for many months, long after the insects have gone.

What has been attacking these gumleaves? Nearly every leaf has scars from some sort of insect attack. The tree is a red gum.

E.T., Nerrina.

Red gums are among the most prone to insect attack such as this. The disfiguring brown patches on their leaves are often numerous.

Many insects could be the cause. A likely contender is a psyllid of some sort. Scale insect is another name, while lerp is the name for the protective coating made by psyllid insects.

These insects frequently undergo population explosions, with numbers eventually collapsing due to cold weather or lack of new leaves. Psyllids are food for many insects and birds, but their numbers frequently get out of balance, resulting in obvious discolouration of red gums.

  • Questions and photos are welcome. Send to Roger Thomas at The Courier, PO Box 21, Ballarat, 3353, or email to rthomas@vic.australis.com.au