Currently viewing the category: "Maggots and Puparia"
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,

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

Subject: Insect shell
Location: San Antonio Texas
August 12, 2017 12:52 pm
Found near our grass clippings under tree. No clue what this is please help.
Signature: Chris

Robber Fly Pupa

Dear Chris,
This Thing has been on our back burner as we have tried unsuccessfully to identify it.  We are pretty certain we have a similar posting buried somewhere in our archives among the nearly 25,000 postings we have made in the last 17 years, but we have not been able to locate it.  We believe this is the immature stage of a Fly in the order Diptera, but we cannot provide any internet citations at this time.  Perhaps one of our readers will help to identify this Thing.

Update:  Thanks to Christopher Taylor who sent a BugGuide link to a Robber Fly Pupa.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green Slimy Bug in Salad
Location: Portland, OR
August 12, 2017 9:59 am
Found this in my salad after eating at a restaurant. It moved like a leach out of water. Able to elongate its body unlike any maggot I have seen before. No ribbed texture like a maggot. Greenish hue slimy, semi transparent able to see some innards. No obvious mouth parts.
This was in Portland, OR on August 7th. Salad was local organic greens. Wandering what it is for health reasons.
Signature: Harlan Whitman

Possibly Flower Fly Larva

Dear Harlan,
What we sacrifice in not getting pesticides in our food is the occasional appearance of an insect in organic produce.  This looks to us like the larva of a Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae, like the one in this BugGuide image.  Syrphid Fly larvae are beneficial predators that eat large quantities of Aphids, and it makes sense that they might be found in organic greens.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Bathroom
July 10, 2017 3:04 am
Over the last couple of days I found two of these in the bath tub now another one on bathroom rug. I have scowerd the internet trying to identify this as would like to understand where it could be coming from. It has no legs. I’d be surprised if they entering through the high up bathroom window. Then I thought they coming through plug hole… but now I find one on the floor I’m not so sure. Would love to know if you can help. Many thanks. Jelena
Signature: Jels

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Dear Jels,
The identification is easy, but your other theoretical questions are not quite as easy.  This is a Rat-Tailed Maggot, the larva of a Drone Fly, and according to BugGuide:  “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.”  Since we don’t know where your bathroom is located:  on the 37th floor of a high rise, in a basement, in Singapore or in New York, speculating on the point of entry is questionable, but we suspect they are breeding in your drain.  If you are connected to a septic tank, this is even more likely.  We suspect these Rat-Tailed Maggots are now seeking a drier environment so they can initiate pupation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: blood worms
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
May 1, 2017 9:18 pm
Though it might make us unpopular with the neighbors, we keep standing water in the yard for wildlife, and we skim with a net daily to feed Mosquito Larvae to the Angelfish, and Boris is still thriving alone in his tank since killing Medea Luna several years ago.  This week the Mosquito Larvae have been replaced by Blood Worms, the larvae of non-biting Midges, and Boris has been greedily eating everyone put in the tank.

Blood Worms



What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination