The Box Sucker

No, not a kind of chupacabra, but still quite strange.

At this time of year I have always wondered what all these sticky fluffly bits were on my Box Hedge, and now I finally know.

When you get closer you can see hidden amongst the fluff these Psyllid nymphs which look a little like greenfly. They are called Box Sucker Psylla buxi, and in other parts they are called Boxwood Psyllid. They appear to do little damage to the Box, and they disappear after a while. They are true bugs which suck the sap from the shoot tips in spring.

This is the first time I have seen the little critters up close, and how bizarre they look. They almost look like they have large ears, but I think they are the beginnings of wings.


May 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

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17 thoughts on “The Box Sucker

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  1. Remarkable little insects and your images of them are superb. In your long absence (and I hope it wasn’t health related), I have missed your lovely macro images.

    How’s the pond doing at the moment? If you have the time, could I please see an update on its current appearance. After seeing some lovely aquatic plants at the local plant nursery, I’m trying to think of a way to have a mobile pond that’s not too heavy for my balcony garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Vicki. I have been well thank you, just got caught up in real life events which kept me a way, but I am back now.

      The pond is doing really well, and I will be posting more photos soon. It is the first time I have had frog spawn, and there are now lots of tadpoles which I have watched grow, and hopefully grow into little froglets. The Yellow Iris has done well again this year, as has the Marsh Marigold, and the Water Mint is rampant even after some taming. I watch damselflies emerge from the still water and gently flutter to land on nearby foliage to dry and pump their fragile wings. Goldfinches and sparrows regularly drink from the water’s edge and even bathe.

      A mobile pond sounds like a great idea! They don’t have to be too big either. Google may be the answer as their are quite some good ideas out there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never thought to Google it, Thanks for the tip, Pete.

        I can well imagine how the idea of frogs might appeal. I have Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve behind my apartment building, but despite hearing their croak regularly in the summer, I have yet to see a frog as the water reeds and undergrowth mean I can’t get close to the water.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have seen tv programmes here where folk have used plastic tubs filled with water and then planted them with a couple of aquatic plants. Some have even added a small water pump for effect. I love the sound of water from a fountain, and I have a small one in my pond.

        Liked by 1 person

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