May 30, 2010
I went camping with a troupe of friends and relatives. My friend and I went out for a walk while the others stayed behind at the cabin – on our return they beckoned us over to a cup where they produced this monstrosity.
Apparently, while we were gone, this bug fell from above and into my mother’s hair. It is a miracle they rescued it alive – they are the type to kill nearly everything they come across – but I think perhaps it was its uniqueness that saved its life.
I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve lived in the same house all of my life. There are a few theories going around, the main contender is that it may be some unidentified form of centipede. I had a glance through your centipede pages but it did not look like a single one of them.
It also seems to have a mouth meant to suck sap or juices from roots, so the second theory is that it may be a larvae stage for something… My friend who I went on a walk with had the chance to touch it after she released it.
She said that it quickly burrowed in the ground (supporting the ‘it drinks from roots…maybe..’ theory), and that when she touched it it felt like snake skin.
I did not get the chance to do so.
I apologize about the quality of the pictures I’m sending, the cup which they’d trapped the bug in was reflective and the room was dark – so I needed to use flash, unfortunately.
I included a coin (a penny) for comparative size in the third picture, though it may be a bit hard to see from over exposure. Please let us know what it is!
South-Eastern Connecticut, USA.
Your mystery creature is a Hellgrammite, the larval form of the Dobsonfly. Hellgrammites are aquatic, but they can survive on land, and they are predatory.