Currently viewing the category: "Booklice and Barklice"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help identifying flying insect
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
September 29, 2015 8:37 pm
Hi,
I’m from Puerto Rico and there are some fun bugs down here in the Caribbean. We recently found this guy in the bedroom and as I reasoned with my wife not to swat it we lost it. What is it? I am including a photo.
Signature: Antonio Rodríguez, bug apologist

What's That Bug???

What’s That Bug???  A Barklouse Perhaps

Dear Antonio,
This has us a bit stumped, and we haven’t much time to research this morning, though we did quickly look at the Insects of Puerto Rico site.  Our initial thought is that it reminds us of a member of the order Mecoptera (see BugGuide) which includes Scorpionflies and Hangingflies, but we might be way off the mark.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply some information.

Update:  Barklouse perhaps
Lepidopterist Julian Donahue wrote in a comment indicating perhaps Psocoptera, and we located a similar looking Peruvian Barklouse on Alamy.

Update:  November 10, 2018
We just approved a comment with a link that indicates this might be a Caddisfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Barklice?
Location: Greenville, SC
September 13, 2015 3:47 pm
Hello,
I recently discovered a large grouping of insects on one of my trees. The insects are very small and are grouped very tightly together. I would estimate that there are 300-400 insects in this group that I sent a picture of. Apon further investigation I noticed this one grouping was just the tip of the iceberg. From standing at the bottom of the tree I can see about 20-25 additional grouping. In other words the tree is infested with these insects. I am affraid they are killing the tree. I searched the Internet and found a Barklice that look very similar to the insect on my tree. Can you please tell me if this is a Barklice and what I should do to remove it? Thank you very much. I greatly appriciate your help.
Signature: Jason Buckley

Barklice

Barklice

Dear Jason,
These are indeed Barklice or Tree Cattle, and they are benign insects that feed on lichens.  They will not harm your tree, however, their presence because of large amounts of lichen and fungus on the tree may signal that the tree is compromised, though not because of the Barklice.  Your individuals look like
Cerastipsocus trifasciatus based on images posted to BugGuide.

Daniel,
Thank you very much. I will leave the these insects alone and have someone inspect the health of our tree asap. We greatly appreciate your help.
Thank you,
Jason Buckley

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insects in the balcony
Location: Berlin
July 28, 2015 11:27 am
Hi,
we have started having these insects since middle of May.
We live in the city, in a 5 story building, on the 3rd floor.
They are around 1 mm long and don’t bite.
We could see them in the balcony, crawling on the tiles specially in the evening, when the sun starts setting down and in the early night.
We have started seeing them too in the bedroom, only close to the window.
Any idea what they are?
Signature: Javier

Cave Barklouse

Cave Barklouse

Dear Javier,
We believe we have correctly identified your Cave Barklouse in the family Psyllipsocidae as
Dorypteryx domestica thanks to images posted to BugGuide where it states they are found in “household habitats, food storage facilities.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What are these
Location: 01267
July 24, 2015 3:57 pm
These bugs where at the base of a old blue spruce tree in Williamson ma 01267.
zoom in to see the bee like markings.
Thank you
Signature: Jesse Wirtes

Tree Cattle

Tree Cattle

Dear Jesse,
This is probably the most amazing aggregation of immature Barklice or Tree Cattle we have ever seen.  Barklice are benign creatures that feed on lichens and fungus on tree bark.  Though they do not harm the tree, they might be symptomatic of an ailing tree.  Adult Barklice have wings.

Tree Cattle

Tree Cattle

Daniel,
Thank you!
The photo was just a small part of the mass that was around and on the tree.
Jesse

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Swarms of Bugs on my Fence in Kentucky.
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
June 25, 2015 9:44 am
All,
I woke up this morning and saw several swarms of the attached bugs on my fence in Louisville, KY. Any ideas what this is?
Signature: Rick L

Barklice

Barklice

Dear Rick,
These benign Barklice or Tree Cattle are generally found feeding on lichens and fungus on trees, and because of their numbers, they alarm gardeners.  They are perfectly harmless.  Finding them on a fence is unusual, but if you used untreated wood, fungus and lichen might be growing on the fence.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Question from my 5-year old son
Location: Florida
June 3, 2015 12:42 pm
Dear Bugman,
We saw these bugs on a tree. It was in our yard. What are they? We live Florida. Winter park. We saw them yesterday.
(Mom who typed this adds: They were swarming in several locations on that tree. They were all about the size of a kid’s fingernail. No flying just grouping together. Hadn’t seen them there before. My son really loves bugs and our goal this summer, being fairly new to florida, is to find and identify as many as we can. We couldn’t find these in a guidebook. Pic attached! THank you I advance!)
Signature: From Declan

Tree Cattle

Tree Cattle

Dear Declan,
These immature Barklice,
Cerastipsocus venosus, are commonly called Tree Cattle, and though they may look like an injurious species, they are actually quite benign, feeding on lichens that grow on the trees and not in any way harming the trees themselves.  Adult Tree Cattle have wings.  You can read more about Tree Cattle on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination