What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect infesting a crepe myrtle
Location: St. Augustine, FL
December 23, 2012 2:34 pm
I live in St. Augustine, Florida. Today (December 23) I noticed clusters of small, black insects on one of the two crepe myrtles in our back yard. I took a picture to try to look it up online and I noticed another type (or possibly babies of the first?) of insect in the group. My parents and I want to know if this insect is harmless or if it’s something we should worry about.
Signature: Nicole

Tree Cattel

Hi Nicole,
You have Tree Cattle or Bark Lice.  They are benign creatures that will not harm your trees.  They feed on lichens that grow on tree,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Florida
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2 Responses to Tree Cattle

  1. Clancy McMahon says:

    We found several groups of these on the branches of our magnolia tree. This morning they were in pods, not moving. Some were molting. Yesterday at dusk they were streaming along a few of the branches like ants.

    • bugman says:

      Perhaps they are on the move, searching for lichens elsewhere on the tree after depleting their food source.

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