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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Strange black nest and white insects


Black droppings
Black droppings  

The black nest
The black nest  
I'm from Singapore, and have referred to your expertise, as I've never seen such a thing before.

In the following photos, there are some black droppings, which at first I suspected termites, but I've never seen black color before. Then I peered up the sink and found to my horror, a black patch of what looks like an insect nest. Then I looked clearly the surroundings and found that the whole place (the basin, the stainless steel hangers and hooks were swarmed with white tiny insects that seem to be moving randomly about.

What are these ?


First, I am not at all familiar with Asian insects; BUT, what you are showing in your images is not insect-related from all that I can tell.

The black droppings are likely either mold, or fungal spores.  The "black nest" looks to me like a fungus, if it is even organic and not some kind of sealant that has gone all weird.

I suspect the sink drain is leaking, and the soaked wood has then been infested with a fungus.

The tiny white insects you describe are most likely springtails (Collembola), which most authorities no longer classify as insects, but as "non-insect hexapods."  I did write a blog post about springtails:

They are not harmful, but can be a nuisance, and/or an indicator of moisture damage and mold.

Hope this helps.


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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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