Weirdness Wednesday – Tree Cattle

Tree Cattle

Tree Cattle

Here is another example of weird coastal animal life. The webby things on the trunks and branches of my Gumbo Limbo tree seem startling and might make you run for a can of bug spray. I try to avoid using pesticides in the garden.  I happened upon an article about tree cattle at some point, so I knew what these were and I actually showed them to our bugman (bugs in the house are fair game) We were both fascinated.

These are actually beneficial insects. Archipsocus nomas to be exact. Barklice is the common name. The beneficial aspect of these bugs is they clean fungi, dirt, algae and dead bark from the trunk of the tree. Bark maids cleaning up tree trunks for you. The lice are called tree cattle because once they are disturbed they move en masse. Like a herd of cattle.

I wish they would come and do the floors in my house.


8 comments on “Weirdness Wednesday – Tree Cattle

  1. I have heard of tree lice. We can get them here, but I have never seen them.


  2. Chloris says:

    Goodness, what weird creatures you have in your part of the world. Weird trees too, is it really called a Gumbo limbo?


  3. mattb325 says:

    I love how nature has invented a symbiotic or parasitic something for everything…!


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