Probably Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Subject: Grubs found in rotting wood of coral tree
Location: Los Angeles
August 19, 2016 9:30 am
Good morning, Bugman.
We discovered today a large area of rot on the base of our coral tree. Excavating the rot, I found several communities of this grub pictured. The animals seemed at first not to move at all, but after some time, it became evident that they do move, very slowly.
I am inclined to believe that they are taking advantage of the rotted wood, and are not the cause of it.
They were surely not expecting this sudden exposure!
Can you identify them?
Signature: Swami M

Black Soldier Fly Larvae
Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Dear Swami,
We are nearly certain these are Black Soldier Fly larvae,
Hermetia illucens, which you may find pictured on BugGuide.  Black Soldier Fly larvae are frequently found in compost piles, where they are beneficial as they aid in decomposition.  According to BugGuide:  “Commercially distributed for composting” and “Larvae live in compost, dung, rotting vegetation.”

Black Soldier Fly Larvae
Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Dear Daniel,
Thanks so much for getting back to me. Yes, I agree the larvae match the images of Black Soldier Fly larvae on your website.
I am hoping we can save our tree; it seems to be infected with some kind of rot that turns the wood right under the bark to mush. Apparently these larvae love it, as there are quite a few.
Best wishes,
ps I’m at the Vedanta Society in Hollywood

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