Currently viewing the category: "Maggots and Puparia"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beauty and a beast
Geographic location of the bug:  Nova Scotia, Canada
Date: 07/19/2018
Time: 05:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman!
I was recently working on stream habitat assessments …  On another day, we were looking at rocks for freshwater benthic macroinvertaebrates and I found this worm-like creature that was not on our super-simplified ID guide. It was translucent and you could see everything shifting around when it moved. As I was trying to take photos and video of it moving/wriggling, it bit me (or stung/poked me), drawing blood and I dropped it. Luckily (or unluckily depending on how you look at it, I suppose), we came across another one later. As I watched it move this time, I believe what I might have gotten stuck with its back end grippers which it seems to use to grip onto the rock face. I was looking at some other aquatic larval stages for different insects and cam across an image of crane fly larvae that looks similar, but again, I’m not really sure and was hoping you might have a better idea.
Here’s hoping!
How you want your letter signed:  Many thanks, Van

Horse Fly Larva

Hi Van,
We believe your guess that this is a Crane Fly larva is incorrect, but we do believe you have the insect order correct.  We believe this is an aquatic Horse Fly larva and according to the Missouri Department of Conservation:  “The larvae of horse and deer flies are fairly straight, segmented, wormlike maggots that are tan, whitish, or brownish. Several fleshy rings circle the body. They are robust, circular in cross-section, and taper at both ends. There are no true legs, although fleshy, nobby pseudopods or prolegs are present. In relaxed specimens, a thin, pointed breathing tube extends from the hind end to protrude above the water surface.”  BugGuide has an account of a person being bitten by a Horse Fly larva.

Horse Fly Larva

Thanks Daniel!
Go figure, the horse flies are still jerks even before they grow up 😀
Thanks for the help.
Van
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Basic Beautiful Birdbath Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Bountiful Utah
Date: 07/18/2018
Time: 11:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw these swimming in the the birdbath and was very curious as I had never seen anything like these before. I have watched them over several days, but this is the first time I could get a good picture as the camera focuses on the surface of the water. During the day they often hide under leaves in the birdbath, but seem to become active before sunset.  I can get more pictures if you like.  I will be eternally grateful if you identify these for me.
How you want your letter signed:  Dean Hirschi

Rattailed Maggot

Dear Dean,
This is a Rat-Tailed Maggot, the larval form of the Drone Fly or another Hover Fly species in the subfamily Eristalinae, and here is a BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide: “Larvae in moist, sometimes shallow aquatic environments” and “Larvae of most feed on decaying organic debris. They are filter feeders in different kinds of aquatic media. They purify water by filtering microorganisms and other products.”

Wow! That was fast!  I appreciate the links and the information.
You are the greatest!
DCH

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Salt loving bug
Geographic location of the bug:  France https://goo.gl/maps/pVi4sfjzn6F2
Date: 03/09/2018
Time: 01:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
Whilst on holiday in France a couple of years ago we visited the salt pans I’ve located above. Whilst there we found what we think is a beetle larvae that the salt seller told us lived in the salt. Any ideas what it is? the lady told us that they are “prehistoric”.
How you want your letter signed:  Cheers, Martin & Ruth

Fly Larva we believe

Dear Martin and Ruth,
We do not believe this is a Beetle larva.  It looks to us more like the larva of a Fly in the order Diptera, possibly a Horse Fly.  We will attempt further research on this.

Fly Larva we believe

Thanks Daniel, it does look like some of the hose fly larvae pictures, i just can’t find any references to salt loving species. This one literally lived in pure salt!!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  A weird worm looking insect
Geographic location of the bug:  California
Date: 01/09/2018
Time: 11:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this bug in my dogs water just floating at the bottoms and didn’t know what exactly it was, I asked family and  they said it was a “moth caterpillar”  I looked up moth caterpillar and I have to admit it looked very similar to this one but this one seems a bit darker and it was still alive after I put it in water added soap AND oxi clean. I ended up smooshing it with my sink drainer making sure it doesn’t like start a nest or something then I let it go down the drain. So what bug is this? Why was it still alive after I drowned it in water soap and oxy clean? Please answer because at first I thought this was some sort of parasite and at this point I’m not sure and I VERY worried for my dog.
How you want your letter signed:  Marcus Wade

Leatherjacket

Dear Marcus,
This looks to us like the larva of a Crane Fly, and it will not harm your dog.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  Crane Fly larvae are sometimes called Leatherjackets because of their hard exoskeleton.  Because of the large amount of rain last year, Crane Flies were quite common in Southern California last year.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s this bug/worm in standing water?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern CA – Mendocino Coast
Date: 11/11/2017
Time: 04:59 PM EDT
I’ve been seeing a lot of these worm bugs floating/swimming in the standing water on top of my composter.  They are alive and move around slowly in the water.  They’re almost an inch long and kind of skinny if you see them sideways (2nd photo).  Can you tell me what this is?
Thanks so much!
How you want your letter signed:  Laurie York

Black Soldier Fly Pupa

Dear Laurie,
This is a Black Soldier Fly Pupa, and their presence in your compost pile is a sign that it is healthy.  According to Daily Dump:  “The Black Soldier Fly Maggots are prolific creatures that appear in all compost heaps – they are nature’s scavengers and good for composting. They love a very wet pile. …  If it’s too much and you want to avoid them coming out and crawling on your floor, you can put your composter in a plastic tub with high sides. They usually cannot crawl out of that slippery vertical surface. If they crawl out and wander all over, then sweep them up, collect them in a container and drop them under a tree – birds love them!  Remember that these BSF maggots suppress the lifecycle of the pest carrying housefly. The Soldier flies have no mouth and cannot transmit pathogens, so they are harmless. Appreciate them. They are even a fried delicacy in some cultures as they are very rich in protein!” 

Black Soldier Fly Pupa

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much for writing me with this info about the Black Soldier Fly Pupa.  Now when I see them I’ll not be frightened and know that they are beneficial in my compost pile.
I appreciate the helpful info you sent me.
Be well,
Laurie

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Please help 🙂
Geographic location of the bug:  Northeast Pennsylvania
Date: 10/22/2017
Time: 01:23 AM EDT
My three year old is very well known for his ability to spot the most camouflaged objects, insects, anything. He is the best shed  hunter I know. He found an assassin Bug today that I couldn’t even see while he was pointing at it. But he also found this other… Thing. We were deep in the woods, near a swamp as well as a creek. Pine needles for ground cover mostly, but tons of birch, maple, katalpa, just a huge variety of trees. Also, a huge cliff/rock wall. We like to go here because you can find basically anything in this habitat. But we have such trouble identifying them for that same reason. I imagine it’s a simple ID, but I just can’t find this one. Any help would be appreciated!
How you want your letter signed:  Devon Markarian

Flower Fly larva we believe

Dear Devon,
This is an immature insect and immature phases can be difficult to identify.  We believe this is a Flower Fly larva in the family Syrphidae.  You did not provide a size, and most Flower Fly larvae are under a half an inch in length.  If this was much larger than that, please let us know.  There are Flower Fly larvae pictured on Diptera Info and on the Oregon State University site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination