Tree Cattle

Subject: WTB
Location: Olean, NY
July 24, 2013 7:17 pm
I took a photo of just one of the numerous clusters of unidentified insects just sitting in these clusters, not moving too much, on our magnolia tree. If you zoom in on the photo you can see two distinct looking insects, possibly the male and female? We first noticed them about 3 days ago and they are still there, not doing much except huddling in these large masses. Can you tell me what they are and if they are dangerous? I live in Olean, NY.
Signature: Pat

Tree Cattle
Tree Cattle

Dear Pat,
These are Barklice, and they are sometimes called Tree Cattle.  They are benign insects that feed on lichens, and they will not harm your trees.  The striped individuals are immature nymphs and the dark individuals are winged adults.

Tree Cattle
Tree Cattle

Thanks so much, Daniel!  We’re relieved to hear they’re harmless critters.  You da man!  Thanks for the great vice you provide.


1 thought on “Tree Cattle”

  1. What a great site. Just found my bug, thanks to you. The Tree Cattle. And, they are harmless. Thanks for the info.


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