Pretty in yellow

bark louse

Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But to me this little yellow psocid, hanging out against a complimentary background, is a thing of beauty.

bark louse

Its common name is rather less attractive – it is a bark louse.

bark louse

Unlike its relatives who live as pests in the home, this critter eats organic matter in the garden and really isn’t interested in coming indoors.  It is very small indeed, about the size of a garden ant.

bark louse

Psocids in the garden are often mistaken for aphids, but they can be distinguished by their large jaws, resembling those of crickets, and long antennae.   If you can squint closely enough.  Really, these details can only be noticed with the aid of a macro lens, or a magnifying glass.

bark louse

I took far too many shots of this little critter.  I need just one for a panel I am working on.  Which do you like best?

15 thoughts on “Pretty in yellow

  1. I sometimes hate common names, I don’t think he should be called a louse.
    Difficult choice for my favourite, the first one I like a lot but there is something about the second from last that is very appealing.

  2. I like the second shot with the side profile of its delicate wings! Amazing how interesting things can be when taking time to truly view them — most would pass this by as a little speck of a bug (especially once learning its common name!) ~ Kat

  3. For looks, I’d choose the first one, but to truly show the critter off, I’d go with #4 (and, yes, get that distracting grass tendril out of the way.) IMHO, of course….. 😉

  4. Very nice images! I really like the soft light and background. I like the first one because it shows the nice lines on his back. I like the second one because its a nice profile and I like the last one because it shows off his eyes. I really don’t think you will go wrong with any of them.

  5. Yes, I agree re its beauty. I doubt many would share my taste in Korea though. Just yesterday we had another incident where a disoriented bee caused mayhem in the classroom. I’ve seen dragonflies do the same more than once.

    A couple of questions: Have you always been such an entomophile? And do you use guidebooks for your identification and related info, or use online resources?

  6. While I’m at it, I’ll just tell you which of my daughters is my favorite is as well…

    Pressed, I’d say I like the second shot most, as it gives a good idea of his (her?) shape and color, and shows off the pattern in the wings.

  7. Pingback: A louse by any other name | Focused Moments

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