Bug of the Month May 2015: Tree Cattle

Subject: Fly?…
Location: Houston
April 30, 2015 10:58 am
Hello bugman,
I noticed a large cluster of flying bugs of some sort on my tree today. 2 groups. From a distance they appear black, like large gnats? Up close they’ve got 6 legs it appears, long antennae, and wings. The wings are a very detailed combination of black and gray colors, outlined in white with a white solitary spot. Very beautiful looking up close. Just not sure if these are invasive /destructive to my tree/garden and wanted to check what they were. The closest thing I’ve been able to find is a picture winged fly but there are so many I wasn’t sure. I have a video as well if you’d like it. You’re help is truly appreciated!
Signature: Alma


Dear Alma,
These benign Barklice,
Cerastipsocus venosus, might appear alarming when they are seen clustering on a prized tree in the yard, but gardeners have no cause for alarm.  Barklice feed on lichens, and they will not harm your tree.  Barklice are sometimes called Tree Cattle.  Your image is of winged adults.  Wingless Barklice nymphs are boldly striped.  We just realized it is the first of May and we need to select a new Bug of the Month, so we have selected your excellent image of Tree Cattle as the featured posting of the month.

You guys are AWESOME! I can’t thank you enough for your help and information!!!  I’m a huge science fan so I love exploring and trying to figure out what things are. I also know how busy you guys must get, so I will definitely be helping with a donation. I also let people know about your site when they are trying to figure out bugs. If you ever need help for rebranding/redesigning let me know (I’m a professional graphic designer). I’m happy to help if you need it!
You have a great weekend!
Alma Soto

Thanks for the offer Alma.  We got our start many years ago on the now defunct American Homebody site, and we still prefer our homey look to the more high tech sites.

I can most certainly understand and respect that!
For what you guys do… It actually works.
Again thank you guys so much for your help, and prompt response. i’ve made sure to tell all my friends about you guys, and have already tweeted you out. 🙂 you guys have helped me before I remembered for a bug I experienced when we lived on job assignment on Venezuelan Penninsula that they call pachaco – it was I found out thanks do you guys a Solifugae (all I could remember was that their body looked like a cross between an ant, spider and an earwigi- they were fierce looking, fast, and scared the living daylights out of me). so again, thank you guys for all you do!

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