One of our readers asked us to identify the specimen in the plastic vial featured above. We appreciate the photo, but we won’t be able to make a definite identification of this creature. The cloudiness of the plastic vial prevents us from making out most of the features of this specimen. We will list what we can infer from the provided picture, and give some examples of what clues might help us determine what this creature is (perhaps a guideline for future submissions that include a less-than-stellar photograph).
Using the fingers in the photo as a scale, we know that the creature is quite small, probably only 1 or 2 centimeters in length. We think we can see 2 or 3 thoracic appendages touching the side of the vial. The specimen might have additional legs or appendages that we can’t see, either because of the fogginess of the container, or because they are tucked up into the body of the creature. The specimen appears to be a shade of brown with a segmented body, but we could be wrong on either of those accounts.
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Knowing a little bit more about where this creature was discovered and what is was doing could be helpful in answering our reader’s question. Was it found indoors or outdoors? Was it found after, or during, any particular weather patterns? What was it eating? What surface was it discovered on? In what part of the world did our reader find this specimen in?
If we had to guess, we believe this specimen might be a mealworm. This idea is stems from the body shape and the thoracic appendages of the mysterious creature. This is just a guess though, we can’t say for certain that this is a mealworm!
To end, one of our readers asked us to identify the creature he held in a vial. We weren’t able to say with confidence what this specimen was, but it could be a mealworm.
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