Tree Cattle: Barklice

Dark beetles on my tree
June 13, 2010
We live in Northern Virginia. We found these bugs on a tree in our front yard. Not sure the type of tree. They are in groups all over the tree. They remind me of herds of cattle. Each “herd” has 5-6 with wings. They are about 1/4 of an inch long, have dark greyish bodies and stripes. They look like they are snaking on the bark or on something on the bark. Please let me know if they are bad for my tree, thanks. Sorry for the bad pictures. Oh and it’s June.
Woodbridge VA

Tree Cattle

Hi Morgen,
It is interesting that you compared these benign Barklice to herds of cattle because a common name for them is Tree Cattle.  The species is Cerastipsocus venosus and your individuals are wingless nymphs.  Adults have wings.  Though they seem like they might be damaging the trees, the feed on lichen growing on the tree and they will not harm the trees.

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