The Bugs of Bernheim: Barklice

By Kelly Vowels

cerastipsocus-venosusWhile walking through the woods this fall, you might encounter a cluster of insects with black and yellow stripped abdomen on smooth bark trees. This is Cerastipsocus venosus, or barklice, which will form clusters on smooth bark trees such as maples and beeches. They are beneficial insects and are considered recyclers of the forests. They will feed on algae, dead bark, lichen, and other organic matter. They do not eat leaves or the trunk of the tree, and they don’t bore into the tree. If you encounter them leave them be they are taking care of the tree and are considered maids of the forests.

Bernheim is proud to be a healthy forest, which provides a home to many creatures, even the smallest ones – insects. The Bugs of Bernheim is a blog series that will celebrate our six and eight-legged friends. Join us each year on the third Saturday in September at Bernheim’s annualBugFest, where you can see a variety of bugs, dance the buggy boogie, and even sample some tasty insect treats.

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