Insects Affecting Mountain Mahogany

Cercocarpus spp.


Curl-leaf Mt Mahogany Leafminer
Lepidoptera: Heliozelidae:
Coptodisca cercocarpella Braun

The larvae of this moth mine leaves in curl-leaf mountain mahogany, Cercocarpus ledifolius, leaving a distinct oval to round exit hole in the mine. It is a poorly known insect. For an overview of the natural history, click here.



Cercocarpus Leaf-gall psyllid
Cacopsylla maculata (Crawford)

Several species of psyllids are recorded from Cercocarpus, most with relatively unknown natural history. Cacopsylla maculata was collected from leaf galls in mountain mahogany, Cercocarpus montanus, grown in a seed production block near Hotchkiss CO (Delta Co). The galls were abundant throughout the production.

An Immature psyllid is pictured at right. They are present in newly formed leaf galls but leave them after a period of feeding. The adult psyllid is shown in the bottom picture. They molt from immature psyllids within the leaf galls, but then disperse are are not often seen. There appears to be two generations a year in western Colorado.

The impact of leaf galling psyllids on seed production is unknown. Very high level infestations probably will affect long term growth of the shrubs. There should be many natural enemies that keep psyllid populations in check, but occasional problems will probably occur. Control with insecticides will be difficult because immature psyllids are protected by the leaf galls.










This page was updated on April 26, 2014





Psyllid damage occurs as thickened and distorted leaf galls.Immature psyllids can be found within newly formed galls. They are less than 2 mm long.

Adult psyllids are found moving around the plants. They are about 3 mm long with dark patterning on their wings.