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

Subject:  Weird worm like creature found in water
Geographic location of the bug:  Petersburg, Tennessee
Date: 04/29/2019
Time: 09:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was going outside catching tadpoles to grow and I can across this worm like thing. I scooped him up and put him in with the tadpoles. Maybe he wasn’t originally in the water and he fell in? But I didn’t want to take the chance. I’ve looked up tons of worm like creatures and even asked my parents to no avail. It would be appreciated greatly if you could help figure this mystery out. Thanks in advance.
How you want your letter signed:  Sierra

Horse Fly Larva

Dear Sierra,
We believe this is a Horse Fly larva.  According to Quora:  “
Most horse flies are associated with water, and the carnivorous larvae can be found therein. I have collected black horse fly larvae while searching through the muck and mud at pond edges. [T]Here’s a Colorado State University photo by Jennifer Bonnell of what is probably a black horse fly larva eating a small frog; they’ll also eat other insects, and, while I’ve never seen it, I’m sure they’ll eat any weakened or trapped minnows they might be able to.  Through the summer, the larvae grow in the water through 6–9 instars, and ultimately spend the winter in the the mud in their last instar. In spring, still in the muck and mire, they pupate and a few weeks later, the adults emerge.”  You might not want to keep this predatory Horse Fly larva with your tadpoles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Can’t find any info on insect
Geographic location of the bug:  South louisiana
Date: 12/13/2018
Time: 09:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My friend posted this picture of this bug and I’ve seen them around before but I can’t find any info on it. To me it looks like a baby graboid from the tremors movie lol please help
How you want your letter signed:  Amanda

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Dear Amanda,
Though the snorkel-like breathing tube or “tail” on the posterior appears shorter than usual, we nonetheless believe this is a Rat-Tailed Maggot, the larva of a Drone Fly.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  Rat-Tailed Maggots are generally found in stagnant water rich in organic materials, like animal manure, or in very damp soil.  We wouldn’t rule out that this might be a larva of a different group of Flies, like possibly a Soldier Fly larva

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Frozen Like Han Solo
Geographic location of the bug:  a pond in northern IL
Date: 12/10/2018
Time: 11:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi.  We were hiking in the woods and saw a few of these trapped in the ice of two different shallow ponds near our home.  Each specimen was about 2 to 2.5 inches long.  I thought it must be a larvae of a pond insect, but I haven’t been able to find any that are supposed to be that big.  Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  Mary

Horse Fly Larva

Dear Mary,
This looks to us like the larva of a Horse Fly.  There is a matching image on Quora where it states:  “Most horse flies are associated with water, and the carnivorous larvae can be found therein.”

Thank you! and Yuck!
I appreciate your help.  I always attempt to do my own identifying, but whenever I am stuck, you always come through.
My curiosity thanks you.
Mary
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  egg or pupa on milkweed
Geographic location of the bug:  Azle, Tx
Date: 08/01/2018
Time: 12:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found several of these on my milkweed which was also infested with aphids.  Please help me identify this creature.
How you want your letter signed:  Joanne

Hover Fly Pupa and Oleander Aphid (at far right)

Dear Joanne,
This is the pupa of a beneficial Hover Fly or Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, and while in the larval stage, they feed voraciously on Aphids.  Adult Hover Flies are also excellent pollinators that mimic stinging wasps and bees, though they are perfectly harmless to humans.  We located a matching image on BugGuide, and there is also a small image at the bottom of the Bugs and Critters in my Florida Back Yard blog.

Thank you!  Do you know if Hover Flies are harmful to Monarch caterpillars?
Joanne

Hi aganin Joanne.  They are not harmful to Monarch caterpillars.

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