Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

Tiny bee-like insects - Cerastipsocus venosus

Tiny bee-like insects - Cerastipsocus venosus
near New Ulm, Blue Earth County, Minnesota, USA
July 16, 2006
Size: less than 1/8 inch
Please help identify these tiny insects. They are very small insects that I found in large groups on the trunk of a Norway maple, mostly near the ground. The insects' heads are light-colored (almost translucent) with long antennae. The bodies are horizontally striped in yellow and black (somewhat like the back-end of a bumblebee). They do not fly. When slightly disturbed, the groups crawl around as a unit and move very quickly.

Moved from Psocidae.

Cerastipsocus venosus
This is a group of nymph Cerastipsocus venosus; Family Psocidae. They are one of the more conspicuous species in the East. I often see nymphs and adults clustered together in large groups on smooth tree trunks. The nymphs have yellow and brown striped abdomens. They call them Barklouse because in the insect world they are very closely related to the lice that we fear. As for "bark" well that is one of the best places to find them. Some are called booklouse and can be found in the mildewy pages of old books and magazines.


We feel like we just identified this for you
on another image. Weren't there two images here? These are bark lice nymphs.

Tiny bee-like insects
I'm sorry. I was having trouble getting the main image where I wanted it and re-did the posting.

Are these bark lice nymphs a problem for the tree?

We would doubt that they can inflict
sufficient damage to hurt a tree, but someone here might know better. You can always contact you local extension forester. And now that you know what they are, you can do more research online!
We tagged and moved this to the Psocoptera - Barklice and Booklice page for you where you will find more images and info by clicking on those tabs.

Thanks for the help!
Thanks so much for your quick response. I did a little research on-line and found that the insects likely would not hurt the tree. At the worst, the adults might make a web that may be viewed by some as unsightly. I'm just happy to know what they are. I've never seen anything like it. After losing 4 large trees to Dutch Elm just this year, I didn't want to wait until it was too late to do something. Thanks again.

Why do you think they call them 'bark lice'?

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.