Is This A Dancing Bug? What’s With The White Fuzz On Trees In NY
Looks may be deceiving, but that stuff on your tree isn't just white wool blowing in the wind.
If you've walked through your backyard or into the woods, you've probably seen these little white fluffy things before. Many might think its fur, feathers or even mold, but it's none of these.
The Boogie-Woogie Aphid
That's right! Not only are these little "floof balls" an insect, but they have a wicked cool name. Also known as the beech blight aphid, these little guys are native to New York and feast on beech tree sap.
As a nymph, or in it's adolescent stage, the aphid will group together with other nymphs on trees. They then waive their wooly butts back and forth to confuse predators.
So instead of just being fur stuck to a tree and blowing in the wind, these little dudes are actually having their own dance party. It could be for survival, but dancing for your life does sound pretty cool, right?
The good news about the boogie-woogie aphid is that they rarely harm beech trees. They could easily fill their bark "dance floor", but natural predators like birds and beetles keep their population under control.
Don't Touch Them
Just like how they cling onto the trees for food, they can also poke you if you decide to grab them. They look soft and cute, but it doesn't mean you should disturb them or any other insect/animal in the wild.
Instead, show them who's got the better dance moves! No sense in poking them and breaking up their dance party when you can join in yourself. If you do, make sure you send us a video for proof!