Biocontrol agent: Heteropsylla cubana
Status in Hawaii: Heteropsylla cubana, the leucaena psyllid was discovered in Hawaii in 1984. This psyllid was causing extensive defoliation of Leucaena leucocephala. Ranchers who relied on leucaena as fodder in marginal lands were concerned, and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture initiated a search for natural enemies of the psyllid in Trinidad and Tobago. Conservationists who considered leucaena a pest initially objected to efforts to control the psyllid, but as leucaena stands opened up, broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus) invaded the understory. Broomsedge provided fuel for more intense and extensive wildfires which threatened remaining pockets of native vegetation in lowland mesic areas. Eventually, opposition to control of the leucaena psyllid weakened, and Psyllaephagus yaseeni, a nymphal parasite of the psyllid, was released in Hawaii in 1987 and 1988.