Man Finds Warehouse Beetle Larva. Maybe.

We received a picture of a larva in a man’s hand. The man would like to know what type of larva it is. He says that he has looked over the All About Worms site, but has not found the information he’s looking for.To us, it looks as though he has found a warehouse beetle larva (or Trogoderma variabile), though it is difficult to be certain. This is a relatively clear photograph, and our reader may be frustrated that we cannot offer a more definite identification.There is a reason that, historically, the most reliable way to identify various beetle and fly larvae is to let them grow up and see what sort of animal they grow into. The differences in the larval stage of different species can be quite subtle. Additionally, the larva of a single species can vary in appearance depending Continue reading [...]

Fat Black Caterpillar is a White-line Sphinx Caterpillar

Today, we are going to address a question given to us by a female reader who would like to know if the animal in the fantastic photograph below is a worm. The answer is, “No, the animal in the photograph is not a worm.” Continue reading [...]

Reader Finds Fungus Gnat Larva

A woman wrote to us with the picture below, wondering if we can help her identify it. She says that she and her friend have found several of them. We’re not sure where she found it, so we’re going to have to do our best to identify it from the picture below. Continue reading [...]

Reader Discovers Horsehair Worm on Sidewalk

Recently, we received the photograph below from a reader who was wondering what sort of creature it might be.To us, this looks like a very long, very flexible worm. Almost like a piece of angel hair pasta. This leads us to believe that our reader has found a horsehair worm. While this is not one of the most common species we write about, it is an animal we have written about before.Horsehair worms (phylum Nematomorpha) are best known as parasites that infect arthropods such as beetles and crickets. However, it is actually the larvae that infect hosts, the adult worms are free-living.Perhaps the most interesting thing about the horsehair worm is how the adult gets out of its host. Once the horsehair worm reaches maturity, it attempts to manipulate its host (through ways that Continue reading [...]

Friendly Carpet Beetle Larvae Found in Dog’s Bed

We have received a query from a reader who is curious about the small larvae that she has found in her dog’s bed. She does not think that these critters come from her dog because the dog had not been in the bed for quite some time when she found them. Below are two pictures, one taken with a flash and one without.Our reader is correct that these little critters are not coming from her dog, though they are there because of her dog. Frequent readers will know that we will identify these as beetle larvae. Given that she found these guys in her dog’s bed, we believe that she has encountered members of the order Dermestes, also known as “skin beetles” or, more commonly, “carpet beetles.”Why are we so sure of this? The hint is in the name “skin beetle.” These beetles Continue reading [...]

Creature on Desk is Not a Tapeworm

A reader found a small, wriggly critter on his desk. He took a couple pictures of it, and is wondering if we can identify it. He notes that he has two indoor dogs, and wonders if this little fellow could be related to them. His specific concern is that it may be a tapeworm. Continue reading [...]