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Symptoms of Sooty Plant Mold Growth. These sucking insects can include aphids and scale insects and sooty mold may occur on any tree but is most commonly seen on boxelder, elm, linden, and especially maple trees. Citrus species. Sooty mould is a cryptogamic disease caused by different species of Ascomycota fungi - spores, ascospores - that grow in the presence of honeydew, a sweet, sticky, liquid waste product that is excreted on the leaves of plants by insects such as aphids, leafhoppers, whiteflies and cochineals. Distribution. Overview of sooty mold. Note also the co-responding sooty mould. These insects include aphids, scale, mealybugs and white flies. Most sooty mould colonies comprise numerous species and thus it is hard to confirm relationships between genera or sexual and asexual states. ... Life cycle. Meliola citricola. South, East and Southeast Asia, Oceania. Sooty blotch is caused by a fungus that infects leaves and fruit. It might sound strange but sooty mould is actually a problem caused by sap sucking insects like aphids, scale, whitefly, mealybugs and mites.These insects exude a sugary substance called honeydew which the sooty mould grows off. Many people believe that someone may have dumped ashes or may have even caught the plant on fire when they first see this plant mold. Sooty mold fungi cause needles, branches, or leaves of trees or shrubs to appear black. Your plant’s twigs, branches or leaves will be covered in a grimy, black soot. Sooty moulds are fungi which cover plant leaves, stems and twigs in a black sticky substance. Widespread. Sooty mold looks a lot like the name implies. Citrus sooty blotch, black mould, black mildew. The entire whitefly life cycle takes approximately 3 weeks when environmental conditions are favorable, such as in greenhouses. Scientific Name. Symptoms & Life Cycle. In almost all cases, the sooty mould is secondary to an infestation of insects that secrete honeydew. Sooty mould growth is most prevalent where air circulation is poor and humidity high, providing periods of extended wetness (although heavy rain may sometimes wash the growth from the leaf surface). Sooty mold is a collective term for different Ascomycete fungi, which includes many genera, commonly Cladosporium and Alternaria.It grows on plants and their fruit, but also environmental objects, like fences, garden furniture, stones, even cars. Sooty mould looks just like the name implies – like a layer of black or grey fireplace soot over the leaves and branches. Several different species of fungi often exist together to cause the sooty appearance. The common name "sooty mold" is descriptive of the black coating or crust that is formed on these plant surfaces. They are dome shaped dark black in colour and 2-5mm in size. The sooty mould fungi use these for growth. The mold benefits from either a sugary exudate produced by the plant or fruit, or if the plant is infested by honeydew-secreting insects or sap suckers. Hosts. Disease cycle of sooty mold . The pathogens are dark fungi growing either on the "honeydew" excreted by sucking insects or on exuded sap material coming from leaves of certain trees. A horrible black, sooty like mould that coats the leaves and branches of a plant, making them appear to be rotten and very unwell. LIFE CYCLE. In addition to feeding damage, whiteflies excrete honeydew, a sugary liquid which promotes sooty mold growth on leaves. Scales hatch from an egg and typically develop through two nymphal instars (growth stages) before maturing into an adult. Sooty mold reduces a plant’s aesthetics and its ability to perform photosynthesis. It is present in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Solomon Islands. 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