Beheaded Larva Remains a Mystery

We recently heard from a reader in Alberta, Canada. She sent us some photos of a beheaded larvae. She explained that she accidentally cut off its head, but tried to put it back in place for the sake of the photo. The creature is about 1 cm long, has a red/pink body, and has a dark brown heads and legs:

Upon closer inspection of the next photo, we see that the larvae is segmented and has 2 or 3 prolegs and two cerci. Cercus are small appendages at the posterior end of the abdomen of some insects that occurs in pairs. They are clearly visible in this photo:

Although we know a good bit of information about this creature based on the details our reader provided, and by the visual evidence in the photos, we still aren’t entirely sure what it is. We believe it is some type of larvae, but we don’t know the species. There are several forms of insect larvae: caterpillars, which are moth and butterfly larvae, grubs, which are beetle larvae, and maggots, which are fly larvae, as just 3 examples. We think the organism our reader found is probably a grub, or a beetle larva, but we aren’t entirely certain.

Based on the content and tone of our reader’s message, it doesn’t seem like she is dealing with an infestation of any kind. We think she probably just found one organism in her home. Therefore, we don’t think she needs to stress too much about the identity of the specimen or getting rid of it. Creatures sneak into houses all the time through open windows and doors and usually mean no harm! On the other hand, if our reader has been finding a lot of these creatures in her home, then she shouldn’t ignore them. If that is the case, we encourage her to send another clear picture of the specimen for us to try to identify.

To sum up, one of our readers found a pink larva in her home. We weren’t able to identify the specimen, but we don’t think it is worth worrying about. If any of our readers recognize this creature we invite them to comment below.

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Beheaded Larva Remains a Mystery
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Beheaded Larva Remains a Mystery
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One of our readers found a pink larva in her home. We weren't able to identify the specimen, but we don't think it is worth worrying about. If any of our readers recognize this creature we invite them to comment below.
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