Leaflets of new leaves emerge chlorotic (Fig. 1) and quickly become desiccated. Old damage remains on the tree as leaflet necrosis on mid- to lower canopy leaves (Fig. 2).
The chlorotic new leaves can be confused with iron deficiency, whereas the necrotic leaflets in the mid to lower canopy are similar to those of potassium deficient palms.
Sucking damage by the royal palm bug (Xylastodoris luteolus) is responsible for the symptoms observed.
The royal palm bug (Xylastodoris luteolus) infests only Roystonea regia in Cuba and Florida.
Figure 1. Early damage caused by royal palm bug (Xylastodoris luteolus). Photo by T.K. Broschat
Figure 2. Severe damage caused by royal palm bug (Xylastodoris luteolus). Photo by T.K. Broschat
Last updated May 2015