Back Alley Bug
Found about 15 of these bugs in about 100 sq ft of alley, no where else, near my house in south western Canada. The peice of alley is located near some gardens and compost piles. These little guys (body: 1", tail(?): 1 1/2") were walking all over the place. They have little legs at the front and rear ends of the body.Two different camera setting acount for the variance in color in the two photos. Can you tell me what it is.

Hi D,
This appears to be a Drone Fly Larva, Eristalis temax, also known as a Rat-Tailed Maggot. Drone Flies are large flies that are often mistaken for bees. Adults are common in flower fields where they feed on nectar and pollen. The Rat-Tailed Maggots are found in stagnant water filled with organic matter and are sometimes found in liquid cow manure, hence their appearance in an alley with compost piles. Here is some interesting information from our Audubon Guide: “Larvae, called Rat-Tailed Maggots, are usually found on wet carrion and in open latrines. They are responsible for numerous cases of intestinal myiasis in people. Adult flies sometimes emerge from carrion, a phenomenon that was probably the basis for the myth that Honey Bees develop in dead mammals, as told in the Biblical story of Samson and the lion, and in writings of Ovid, Vergil and Solomon. the adults so closely resemble Honey Bees that people and insectivorous animals avoid them.”

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