Currently viewing the category: "Maggots and Puparia"
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Subject: swarm of caterpillars
Location: Fairfax, VA
July 21, 2015 11:40 am
This has got to be the most unusual behavior I’ve ever seen – a swarm of small (5 – 8 mm in length), translucent caterpillars, slowly moving across a sidewalk (to get to the other side, of course!) in a stream nearly the width of the sidewalk, with a depth of several individuals. I did not see it from the beginning, but I estimate it took about 15 minutes for them to reach the other side. It was most similar to watching schooling fish, but in slow motion. I assume this is adaptive behavior for the same reason as schooling and herds? This was at 8 AM on a very humid day, if relevant. Any idea as to species? Have you heard of this before? Is swarm the right term?
Signature: Seth

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

Dear Seth,
This fascinating phenomenon is an aggregation of Fungus Gnat Larvae in the family Sciaridae.  We generally reserve the term swarm for winged species while in flight.

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Fungus Gnat Larvae

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Subject: larvae
Location: richardson, tx
May 12, 2015 9:46 pm
Does anyone know what this could be? Just found about 2 dozen in my son’s room. They were primarily found under some laundry sheets that had been cleaned 2 days prior. Also some found around the baseboard in the room. Please help. . also have an unidentified smell coming from the same room around the same time these were found.
Signature: Jesse

Fly Puparia

Fly Puparia

Dear Jesse,
These look like the Puparia of Flies.  Perhaps something crawled into your son’s room and died, or perhaps some food was left to rot.  It is also possible there might be a dead animal in the walls that could have attracted the flies that laid the eggs that hatched into maggots that fed on the rotting organic material and that eventually metamorphosed into these Puparia.
  The likeliest candidates are Flesh Flies.

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Subject: flattened out legless pill bug thing
Location: north texas
October 23, 2014 8:28 am
My parents have this device that makes compost from old bits of banana peels and whatnot, and every once in a while it will leak, so we put this metal tub underneath it. Now the tub has these strange bugs that move like caterpillars, or slugs, and have a back similar to a flattened out “pill bug”. We do not want the bugs in our garage, but are not sure what to do with them, because we don’t want to simply kill them.
Signature: nathan

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Dear Nathan,
These are Black Soldier Fly Larvae, and they are commonly found in compost piles where they contribute to the decomposition of organic materials.  They will not negatively affect the compost or your family.  They are benign and they should be left to do the job that they do so well.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

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Immature Dipterans

Immature Dipterans

Subject: Bug found in bedroom
Location: Swingfield Street, Kent
October 15, 2014 4:45 am
Found several of these bugs on the carpet in the bedroom on returning from a week or so away from the house.
What are they?
Signature: Anthony

As you can not tell from the pictures, I should have said that it is soft and moves a bit like a caterpillar and that the dark portion is at the tail end not the head.
I had a video that showed the above but it was rather big so I did not send it.
I am attaching the photos again in case it is difficult to tie up the 2 emails.
Regards,
Anthony.

Immature Dipterans

Immature Dipterans

Dear Anthony,
We are unable to provide anything more than a very general identification at this time.  This is an immature Dipteran, the insect order that includes Flies.  They remind us of the larvae of a Bot Fly, but we cannot be certain.  See this posting on BugGuide.

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Subject: I have never encountered this at work before
Location: Seattle, WA
September 19, 2014 7:27 pm
I work in Seattle, WA on commercial boilers. The location I took these photos (which are actually screenshots from much more informative HQ videos that I took) is on the ground near an outdoor steam boiler in September at the end of summer. It was 75°F that day and was the last day of an unusually long and hot summer. The water (and sludge) these things were living in was very warm, I did not measure the temperature of the water but because it was continually being fed by 212°F boiler water. Please let me know if you need more information, pictures or video. Oh and these things were about half an inch long.
Signature: Aaron in Seattle

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Dear Aaron,
One of your images appears to depict a Rat-Tailed Maggot, the larva of a Drone Fly,
Eristalis tenax.  According to BugGuide:  “The larva of the Drone-Fly feeds on decaying organic material in stagnant water in small ponds, ditches and drains. Such water usually contains little or no oxygen and the larva breathes through the long thin tube that extends from its rear end to the surface of the water and that gives it its common name of ‘rat-tailed maggot’.”

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Rat-Tailed Maggot

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Subject: Weird Bug From Pond
Location: Lake View, AL, 35111
September 9, 2014 11:00 am
Hey Bugman,
I have some strange bug crawling around my pond and sidewalks. They seem to move like worms.
They’re greyish brown and I haven’t been brave enough to pick one up and check it out.
I live in Lake View, AL
Thanks,
Jared
Signature: McCalla Bugster

Horse Fly Larva

Horse Fly Larva

Dear McCalla Bugster,
This looks to us like the immature stage of a fly, possibly a Horse Fly.

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