What is this larvae(?) found under the ice
Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 8:55 AM
My son was breaking the ice in our yard pond and found hundreds of these congrgating below the ice, apparently searching for air? I’m fairly familiar with many of the local water bugs and larvae, but never seen this particular creature and was just wondering what it is. Most are approximately .75″ long with a tail 2.5-3″ long. Just trying to teach my son about these kinds of things, and I was a bit embarassed to tell him that I just don’t know what these are!
This is the larva of a Drone Fly, known as a Rat-Tailed Maggot. Despite its unsavory sounding name, the Rat-Tailed Maggot, though it feeds on decomposing organic material in stagnant water, will eventually metamorphose into a beneficial pollinating insect, the adult Drone Fly, Eristalis tenax, a Honey Bee mimic. Interestingly, this species was introduced from Europe prior to 1874 and it has a coast to coast distribution “From Alaska to Labrador and south into California and Florida” according to BugGuide.