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The term "lice" as part of the common name of these tree dwellers is quite misleading as these insects are neither parasitic nor louse-like in appearance. Upon being informed of the identification of this insect, the typical response of a gardener is a widening of the eyes and other momentary indications of being aghast! When disturbed, Cerastipsocus venosus exhibits the fascinating behavior of moving en masse, somewhat like a flock of sheep or herd of cattle. They may also temporarily scatter when suddenly disturbed, only rejoin again as a herd. Not surprisingly, they are also known as "bark cattle" or tree cattle. Barklice are most often noticed on smooth-barked shrubs and trees such as crape myrtle and on oaks although they occur on a variety of hardwood ornamental plants
Beneficial insects, as scavengers, they perform a valuable function in consuming excess accumulations of fungi, algae, dead bark and other materials that occur on tree trunks and large limbs in effect, they function as Bark Maids to help clean the bark of undesirable inhabitants. Barklice do not eat leaves or the bark of the tree, nor do they damage the tree by boring into the bark.
Lat: 30.26, Long: -81.43
Spotted on Nov 21, 2015
Submitted on Nov 21, 2015