Did Larvae Sting Reader?

One of our readers recently asked us to weigh in on a situation. She explained that she was in the kitchen when she felt a stinging feeling on her shin and discovered a tiny worm-like organism. She took a photo of the creature (shown below.) She said that she can see through it and has a dark spot and appears smooth. She has a dog so doesn’t know if the specimen could have come from the dog or not. She is quite rattled from this situation. She wants to know if we can identify this organism.

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From the photos, we can see that this larvae is cream colored with a dark spot. Since our reader said it was “see through” it could have a translucent quality, but we can’t make it out in the photo. Comparing it to the coin in the second photograph, we understand just how tiny this specimen is! So, what could this critter be?

Our first thought upon hearing that the organism was translucent with a dark spot is that it is a drain fly larvae. Dry fly larvae are translucent with dark spots on their body. In addition, they are very tiny, just like the larvae in this photo. However, while the description matches, this creature simply doesn’t look like a drain fly larvae. We think it looks more like a caterpillar.

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We think the specimen is probably some species of caterpillar. There are over 20,000 species of caterpillar around the world. Some species of caterpillars do sting, and perhaps this one did sting our reader. Most people don’t have much a reaction to a caterpillar sting, but if our reader is experiencing discomfort we encourage her to see a doctor for treatment.

To wrap up, one of our readers wrote to us about being stung by a worm-like organism. We think this organism might be some species of caterpillar.


Author: Worm Researcher Dori

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