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Psocoptera ~ Barklice, Booklice

These small insects are most often found on tree trunks, sometimes in large groups milling about on the bark. Other species create large webs that can wrap the trunk of the tree in a white shroud. Barklice can be mistaken for aphids or termites, but are not closely related. They are not related to true lice either.

Adults and nymphs have chewing mouthparts and feed on lichen, algae, and other debris on the trunks of trees.

Some psocopterans are wingless, but those with wings have four that are held tent-like over the abdomen.

Psocopterans develop through simple, or incomplete metamorphosis: the larvae resemble wingless adults. Many species feed in groups; those that produce webbing do so to create a warm, moist environment not unlike a greenhouse where the adults and nymphs all feed together.

Size is very small.

Most species in this order are difficult to identify, and they are not very common.

These are the Families of Psocoptera (barklice and booklice) likely to be encountered in Austin, Texas:

[common barklice]

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