Finds like this are why I love producing Slugyard. I was looking at my elderberry to see if the ant nest had moved again when I saw a little red thing crawling on one of the branches. It was VERY small. The branch in the photo above is probably only 3/4″ wide or so. Below is a blown-up image of the red “thing”.
What in the world? I searched and searched my books and couldn’t figure out what this was. Finally, I found a suggestion on a website and I now believe that this is a Thrip larva. Yes, a Thrip.
Some Thrips cause a lot of economic damage to crops. I have no idea if this is one of them but I tend to doubt it since no plants in the area look damaged. According to Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America by Arthur V. Evans, many Thrip species live on dead branches and seek out confined spaces. I would imagine that there are a lot of them living inside the hollowed out elderberry branches.