Subject: Small red bugs with black stripes
Location: Nelson, New Hampshire
July 17, 2013 7:19 pm
Dear Bugman,
These small critters were found on my mother-in-law while canoeing in a pond this past Monday, July 15th 2013 in Nelson, New Hampshire. After brushing against some leaves from a nearby tree these bugs were found on her shirt. They are very small. You can compare their size with the clothe stiching. I have scoured over photos from insect guides and the internet and I cannot figure out what these are. Nymphs? Ants? Aphids? I’m stumped.
Signature: Stumped


Dear Stumped,
These are Barklice, benign creatures that you may read about on BugGuide, which states:  “barklice are always found outdoors, and occupy a wide variety of habitats; booklice often live in homes” and “Barklice feed on lichens and fungi on tree bark, booklice are best known for feeding on the starch in book bindings.”  They look very similar to this member of the genus
Ectopsocus which is pictured on BugGuide and was also found in New Hampshire.


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