Unnambed bug on trees – Good or bad?
August 1, 2011 1:45 pm
Suddenly found these on several trees in our front yard near a lake in Muskoka.
Found down low at ground level, or a few feet off the ground on both mature cedars and pine.
Mostly still unless disturbed (by gathering a specimen) and then move as a school / herd away from the disturbance.
Larvae or mature?
Good or bad?
Leave or eradicate?
Signature: Wondering in Muskoka
Dear Wondering in Muskoka,
What we especially love about your submission, in addition to the truly awesome photograph, is your marvelous description of this immature Bark Louse, Cerastipsocus venosus, when it is in company with the rest of its aggregation. You described them as a herd, and another common name for Bark Lice is Tree Cattle. They are harmless creatures that feed on lichens, but since lichens are generally associated with old trees that might be in decline, folks without the proper information might be inclined to blame the Tree Cattle for the death of a large tree. We have already indicated that the individual in your photo is an immature nymph. Adults are interesting insects with black wings with white veins.