What is this cluster of bugs?
Location: Jacksonville FL, ( Northeast Florida )
March 27, 2012 1:12 pm
This tightly packed cluster of bugs were at the very base of a Crepe Mrytle tree trunk, where it was very smooth. Each bug was about the size of the head of a pin. When disturbed, they spread out but immediately regrouped.
This was taken March 27, 2012 in Jacksonville FL in a business/office park. It was about 80 degrees and sunny.
These are immature Barklice, commonly called Tree Cattle. They are benign creatures that feed on lichen and they will not harm the tree though they resemble an infestation. We believe the species is most likely Cerastipsocus venosus based on photos posted to BugGuide.
By the way – just found out what they were! ” Common Bark Lice ” Species: Cerastipsocus trifasciatus
The two species look very similar.