Answer to the Monday Mystery: Bark Louse

What was last night’s unusual tropical insect?

Psocoptera: Psocidae: Thyrsophorinae - bark louse

This one was tough. I had to spend an hour on Google and consulting the taxonomic literature just to get the animal to subfamily. There’s a photo of a similar animal on flickr identified as Poecilopsocus, but I’m not convinced that’s correct after reading through New (1978). In any case, our friend is a bark louse. These insects are typically less colorful that this example. Most species feed on lichen and fungi.

Points go to Zestin (3), Piotr Naskrecki (3), and a 2-way tie between Shyamal (4) and Max Barclay (4; via twitter).

Plus, a bonus point to Jared for “Darth Maul’s Puppy“.


source: New, T.R., 1978. An appraisal of the Thyrsophorinae stat. nov.(Psocoptera, Psocidae) and of its constituent genera from the Neotropics. Syst. Entomol. 3, 35–49.

Leave a Reply