Subject: Bugs mimic snake
Geographic location of the bug: KwaZuluNatal, South Africa
Time: 08:57 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Looked like a snake moving across a porch. Closer inspection showed it was made up of many ‘bugs’ – ?caterpillar-like (not sure – photo sent to me).
How you want your letter signed: bewilderbeast
This is an aggregation of Fungus Gnat larvae in the family Sciaridae, and we have gotten reports in the past from South Africa. According to GrowVeg: “The small translucent eggs are laid in batches of 20-50 into the compost surface. These hatch into small cream-coloured maggots that have shiny black heads. The larvae live within the soil and feed on plant roots, lower stems and on leaves that touch the compost surface. When mature, the larvae are around 6mm in length.”