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Lucerne flea

Constraint – Lucerne flea

Appearance

  • Lucerne fleas are globular, wingless, 2-3 mm long with green, brown and yellow markings

  • They make jumping movements when disturbed

  • Young nymphs resemble the adults except in size

Symptoms

  • The cells of the upper surface of leaves are eaten, resulting in small ‘windows’ in the leaves

  • Severe infestations cause skeletonised leaves, with just the more fibrous veins remaining

Damage

  • Damage is often minor, but severe damage can retard seedling growth or kill seedlings

  • Cumulative damage may be severe where crop growth is slowed by cold, wet or dry conditions

Control

Only when infestations are severe should lucerne flea be sprayed. In some instances, spot spraying with registered chemicals may be adequate. Several natural enemies such as mites, beetles and spiders prey upon lucerne fleas. Blanket spraying is harmful to these natural control agents.

Links and Resources

I Spy Manual - Lucerne flea

Page 108. Description, confused with/similar to, distribution, pest status and risk period, host range, damage, monitoring and sampling, and management. Published 2012.

Insectopedia - Lucerne flea

Description, biology, damage, monitoring, sampling, and control. Published 2000.