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Psocoptera (Barklouse) - Trichopsocus clarus

Psocoptera (Barklouse) - Trichopsocus clarus
Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County, California, USA
January 11, 2008
Size: 3mm
Scooped out of pond water, this insect is on my left pinky finger. It looks like a green lacewing. Flowing Joyce's suggestion I've been looking at Order Psocoptera. The closest thing I can see looks is Tom Murray's excellent photo of a green-eyed barklouse - Xanthocaecilius quillayute, Which is not identicle. See the comments below!

Images of this individual: tag all
Psocoptera (Barklouse) - Trichopsocus clarus Looks Like a 3mm Green Lacewing, But it is a Barklouse! - Trichopsocus clarus Looks Like a 3mm Green Lacewing, But it is a Barklouse! - Trichopsocus clarus

T. clarus (Banks) [=acuminatus Badonnel]


Trichopsocus acuminatus
Who would have thought the lowly barklouse would ever receive so much good discussion. Similar to John I like to ID things by wing veintion. Xanthocaecilius is a smart idea, I even had to go back and check that it was not one of the two know North American species. While I am sure their are many tiny features that set them apart the simplest for now is size, Xanthocaecilius is small but this one is miniature.

I dug through Mockford's book on North American Psocoptera. I began by looking for psocoptera with a similar wing patters and then read the species descriptions. Your is distinctive with the long hairs along the veins and brown patches on the wings thorax and head. You appear to have found Trichopsocus acuminatus; Family Trichopsocidae. Great find, and new for the guide. I am glad you saved it from the pond, they are hopeless swimmers and should have known better.

Thank you, Philip.
Just wanted to give a public thank you for all you have done for our barklice images! We are very appreciative of your expertise. Let us know how we can return the favor:-)

Thanks Eric that is really ki
Thanks Eric that is really kind though I do feel the pleasure is largely mine. These images are helping to get me though a cold gray winter. There are many species here that I would never see if it was not for bug guide and its users. All I ask it that people keep submitting the neat things they discover.

Thanks, everyone!
Philip, and John. It's interesting to see how you approached the identification, I will try to incorporate these ideas in the future. It seems like seeing the differences is at least as important as recognizing the similarities of different species. It may be a long time before I get a feel for it, but that's what makes it interesting.

I'm really thankful for the ID. This one was very hard for me!

Green-eyed Barklouse?
I was struck by the similarity (though much cruder) to Tom Murray's Green-eyed Barklouse, see:

I'm new to this so I am trying to judge wing veins and stuff like that. Notice in Tom's image where the wing connects to the body, there are 3 cells that meet like slices of pie. As the center slice of pie goes away from the connection in Tom's image it curves up to the top of the wing, making a shape like "ye olden time plow". On this image as the center slice of pie goes away from the wing connection it just rounds off makeing a shape like "ye olden slice of pie". :-)

Hi John-
I thought I noticed some differences too, but I will have to look more closely at the one you pointed out. It would be a wild stroke of luck if I found the right Genus, even. Barklice are completely new to me. Probably I should stay away from such insects, as their size makes them tricky to photograph, but when you see something new and different...Who can resist?

Good pictures
They're good pictures and they will likely get a more specific ID. Actually, if you look at your second image, the veins I was talking about look to curve up to the wing edge making a plow shape, similar to Tom's image. It probably is tricky, for us non-experts, trying to figure out what belongs to the front wing and what belongs to the hind wing. I was just trying to add to the discussion, not to discourage you!
Philosophical side though - It's funny though, everyone tries to fit their image into one of the species that already exists, when in fact the real jackpot is when it doesn't and you have something new! Like the cool fly you added a couple of days ago.
I don't know which you have, but I bet one of the experts will.

Check out order psocoptera.

Psocoptera is news to me!
I believe you are right, though. There seemed to be more than one of them in the water, and they did not appear to be there by choice as the could not swim or walk on the surface. It really is similar (aside from size)to a green lacewing I encountered not too long ago.

There was also an interesting insect that hopped on the surface, several inches at a time, however it was less than 0.5mm, and beyond my ability to get a picture of.

You might check out the images
of springtails to see if that is your second insect.

Interesting suggestion!
I think it is possible that what I saw was a type of globular springtail. It was frustrating not getting a single good picture of one in (on)the water. It was a surprise to see them hop!

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