Subject: Basic Beautiful Birdbath Bug
Geographic location of the bug: Bountiful Utah
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
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.”