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Critters with multiple white

Critters with multiple white "tails"
Frankfort, Benzie County, Michigan, USA
July 4, 2011
Size: 3/16" long wth 1/2" tails
The ground under our large maple tree is covered with these bugs. They float down from the tree like dandelion fluff and land gently on the ground and appear to be dead or near dead at the time of falling. Their bodies average 1/8" to 3/16" in length and 1/16" across. The small head is black; thorax is caramel color; and the abdomen is black. Two pair of legs originate at the junction of the thorax and abdomen, while the other pair is on the "neck" very close to the antennae. It is soft shelled and segmented-looking. Attached to the "butt" end, there are multiple (10+) half-inch long, white threadlike, fibrous, fuzzy-looking "tails." When picking them up by the tail, they stick to everything. Don't know if it is the fibers on the tail, or if indeed, it really is sticky. It's hard to tell with something so tiny. Some of the "younger" ones have a short, stubby tail before the longer tendrils. We didn't know if these were a stage of metamorphosis of a bug or not? We've never seen them before and have lived here 23 years. Our tree is huge, but we can see clumps of these on the underside of some of the leaves. Hope you can help us identify them. Didn't have the right camera to get "up close and personal."

Images of this individual: tag all
Critters with multiple white Critters with multiple white

Moved from Woolly Alder Aphid.

Moved from Woolly Maple Aphid.

Moved from Frass.
Salvaging this one since it is a new genus & species for BugGuide.

Moved from ID Request.

woolly aphid nymphs
Thanks for helping me identify the woolly aphid nymphs. How do I eradicate them? I understand spraying aphids with soap works, but our maple tree is huge! We have a great number of ants, as we live on sandy soil. Will they take care of the aphids? There is no way we can spray the whole tree. Now that I look at the pictures of aphids, I think we have them on our plum tree too---just not the woolly ones.

Pest control
We don't give pest control advice. We aren't pest control experts and it is also against our policy to give that type of advice. If they aren't causing damage then you may not even have a problem, if they are causing damage then you may actually want to contact experts in that field.

Pest Control

Woolly aphid nymphs
These are nymphs of woolly aphids (Eriosomatinae), and they look a lot like beech blight aphids, but those would be on beech. I'm not sure what species would be on maple.
[Edit] Oh, apparently there is a woolly maple aphid, so that must be what this is... what kind of maple is it?

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