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hemiptera nymphs? - Cerastipsocus venosus

hemiptera nymphs? - Cerastipsocus venosus
Strafford, Strafford County, New Hampshire, USA
July 27, 2006
Size: 1/8"
I found a grouping of these on a white ash tree. They were somewhat in even lines and when I lifted the branch to get a better look they hurried away in a processional line - fast! I was able to knock some into a container. They have VERY long antennae! Tried some online searches, but no luck, so once again I turn to you! I am guessing some hemiptera due to their gregarious behavior, but found no eggs. I would like to raise them for a while to observe, but not sure what they eat. They do not seem interested in the foliage.

Images of this individual: tag all
hemiptera nymphs? - Cerastipsocus venosus longhorned nymphs - Cerastipsocus venosus

Moved from Psocidae.

Cerastipsocus venosus
These are 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 can be quickly IDed by the yellow and brown striped abdomens. If you want to observe them in captivity try keeping them in a shaded cool, moist container with a bit of old tree bark in it. They feed on tiny Lichen and Fungus. They also have the unfortunate habit of drying out fast. If you keep them for a week or to I am sure you will some metamorphose into winged adults (very pretty).


Order Psocoptera
Hi, Bonnie, nice find. These are bark lice. I don't see them too terribly often but I enjoying looking at them, so unusual!

I often collect things for some of my lizards so I am always looking at undersides of leaves, branch crotches, etc. so I find some cool stuff. I wish they hadn't scattered as the grouping would have made for some nice photos - do you know if they congregate again? Do they feed on the bark?

When I've run into them they have been in large clusters on bark. I understand they feed on tiny little plants (lichens, for example) that live on bark.

I have only found one solo bark louse, the rest were in large groups, so I would think yours would probably come back together. Keep an eye open for them. They are pretty photogenic when they are wall to wall!

I have seen gatherings of these things scattering like a herd of antelope and then coming back together really quickly. Quite entertaining actually.

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