Rat-Tailed Maggots

Subject: Aquatic grubs
Location: Northeast Los Angeles
March 20, 2013 2:06 pm
Hello, Bugman! It turns out that I’ve been following your site for quite a while, and recently discovered that we’re neighbors, as I also live in the Mt. Washington area. So these are pretty local critters!
I have found these aquatic grubs in our (non-working) backyard water feature a few times while trying to keep the mosquito larvae population under control. I came across these two specimens yesterday and had the presence of mind to take a picture to send to you, along with a dime for scale. I have tried before to find something on the web, and today I tried the term ”aquatic grub”, and ended up here: http://www.aquatax.ca/miscdip.html – a website devoted to Saskatchewan Aquatic insects, which has a picture of a grub that looks very similar.
I realize we may not be able to nail down the species, but this looks like it could be a Dipterid grub. I love syrphid flies, and would be happy to know if that’s what they are. In any case, just wondering if you can identify or possibly confirm my conjecture. Thanks very much!
Signature: Jonathan V

Rat-Tailed Maggots
Rat-Tailed Maggots

Hi Neighbor Jonathan,
Rat-Tailed Maggots are the aquatic larvae of a large Syrphid Fly known as a Drone Fly,
Eristalis tenax.  You might be interested in our Mount Washington Tag.  We archive most of our own photos there.

Fantastic, Daniel, thanks! I don’t think I realized that maggots could have their own name, but that’s certainly an apt one.  (And, you’ll be happy to know that I returned them to the pond.)
Thanks for the tip about the Mt. Washington tag, too. If I come across more unknown insects, I’ll be sure to check there, first.
Take care!

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