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New Zealand Plant Protection 62 (2009): 136-144

Bactericera cockerelli: incursion, dispersal and current distribution on vegetable crops in New Zealand

D.A.J. Teulon, P.J. Workman, K.L. Thomas and M-C. Nielsen


The tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc)) probably invaded New Zealand in the summer of 2005-06. The first authenticated records from May to June 2006 indicated that it was widely distributed in the Auckland area with a further record from Taupo so that no attempt was made to eradicate it. By April 2009 records indicated that it had spread throughout much of New Zealand. Its spread within New Zealand is likely to be from a combination of natural and human mediated dispersal. The psyllid, and the liberibacter it transmits, will provide a serious challenge to the ongoing development of Integrated Pest Management in greenhouse crops (especially tomato and capsicum), outdoor tomatoes and potatoes. The economic impact of this insect and disease in the 4 years it has been in New Zealand has been in millions of dollars in terms of increased management costs, crop losses and loss of export markets.

Keywords: tomato potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli, spread, distribution, economic impact.

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