All posts by Worm Researcher Alexis

Ragworms May Be Planting Gardens so They Can Enjoy the Harvests

Every gardener has seen worms and larvae living alongside their plants. Unfortunately, most gardeners have also had to deal with the little critters eating those same plants. However, very few of us have seen worms that plant their own gardens. That is exactly what a research team headed by Zhenchang Zhu discovered when studying the ragworm (Hediste diversicolor). They described their findings in the December, 2016 article entitled Sprouting as a Gardening Strategy to Obtain Superior Supplementary Food: Evidence from a Seed-Caching Marine Worm that was published in the journal Ecology. Ragworms live in the ocean and have been previously admired for their effective food gathering methods. While remaining safe in their dens, ragworms spread webs made of mucus across the dens’ openings. Continue reading [...]

Man May Have Mold-Eating Larvae in His Room

Today we will try to help a reader who is having some issues with black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) in his room. At least, he thinks that is their species. He has included a photograph. Continue reading [...]

Red Creature Staining Carpet is a Bloody Mystery

A woman in the United Kingdom has written to us with a rather odd query. She has found something that may be a larva in her flat (apartment). The little critter is about 1/2" (~13mm) long and seems to be leaking red liquid. In fact, it has stained our reader’s carpet. She would like us to tell her what it might be. She has attached the following picture: It is difficult to tell from the photograph what sort of critter this might be. However, there are very few worms or larva that ooze any kind of blood or other red liquid. Our blood is red because it contains hemoglobin. According to the UCSB ScienceLine website: Hemoglobin is a protein that forms a complex with iron molecules and together they transport oxygen molecules throughout the body. Iron has the property of reflecting red Continue reading [...]

Mold in House is More Worrying than Larvae

A woman wrote asked us about some creatures she found about in her bathroom. She says that she vacuumed two days ago. She also mentions that she is experiencing a mold problem in her bathroom. Continue reading [...]

Larvae in Laundry Room Remain Unidentified

Recently, we received several amazing photographs of a couple of creatures. Our reader, who submitted them, says that he found them in his laundry room. He describes them as caterpillars or larvae that are about 1/2” (~1.25cm) long. He would like us to help him identify their species. Identifying larvae and caterpillars is notoriously difficult. This is because all larvae change appearance as they move from one instar to another. Also, many species’ larvae look alike. So, two larvae of different species may look more alike than two larvae of the same species in different instars. Many larvae are fussy eaters, so it is often easiest to identify a caterpillar or larva by its eating habits. However, we do not know of any larvae that eat laundry, so that method will not help Continue reading [...]

How a Caterpillar or Larvae becomes a Butterfly, Beetle, or Other Adult

Here at All About Worms we spend most of our time discussing creatures that are not worms. Most of the questions we get from readers are about larvae and caterpillars (a caterpillar is the larval form of a moth or butterfly). Continue reading [...]
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