Pink Worm in Cat Bowl is Likely a Soft-winged Flower Beetle Larva

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“Can you help me identify this worm or larvae?” asks Amanda in her submission regarding the little, pink, worm-like organism pictured below. “It was in my cat’s food bowl. It was the only worm we found.” Now, given the worm’s physical features, we would instinctively identify this as a beetle larva. The pronged rear, elongated body, and bulbous head point to this conclusion, though the lack of prolegs has us thinking it could be a different species of insect larva. That said, the location of its discovery has us weary about saying anything too certain. When worms are found in or near pet food, readers are often concerned about parasites. Amanda does not say anything of that nature, but given the chance that the creature did come from the cat, we have to exercise caution.

The reason for this is because we cannot identify any organisms that come from animals’ bodies, or that could be negatively affecting their health. And why is that? Worm-like creatures that negatively affect an animal’s health can only be identified by a medical professional, in this case a vet, as the worm poses a health threat. Since we are not medical professionals, we are neither qualified, nor legally able, to identify such creatures. So, if Amanda is concerned that this organism came from her cat (maybe she finds more worms in the bowl at a later time, or her cat starts developing symptoms), then we recommend that she take her cat to the vet.

Now, in the case that Amanda has no cause to believe this worm came from her cat, but that it just wandered into its food bowl, or equally, in the case that she does take her cat to the vet and they conclude that no parasitic infection is occurring, then we will stand by our initial instinct that this is a beetle larva. Specifically, given its pink coloration, we would say this looks like a soft-winged flower beetle larva. These little guys are predatory, but that does not make them dangerous to cats or humans. They would rather pick on creatures their own size. They mostly eat other small invertebrates. They usually live under bark or leaf litter, so to find one inside could indicate a variety of things: the larva wandered inside the home accidentally, it went inside to seek shelter from the cold or other weather conditions, or it was brought inside (on clothing or shoes, or by the cat).

To conclude, we think it’s possible that a soft-winged flower beetle larva wandered into Amanda’s cat’s food bowl. However, given the possibility that this larva came from her cat, we cannot make this identification with 100% certainty. We hope nonetheless that we have been able to help, and we wish Amanda, and her cat, the very best!

 

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Summary
Pink Worm in Cat Bowl is Likely a Soft-winged Flower Beetle Larva
Article Name
Pink Worm in Cat Bowl is Likely a Soft-winged Flower Beetle Larva
Description
"Can you help me identify this worm or larvae?" asks Amanda in her submission regarding the little, pink, worm-like organism pictured below. "It was in my cat's food bowl. It was the only worm we found." Now, given the worm's physical features, we would instinctively identify this as a beetle larva. The pronged rear, elongated body, and bulbous head point to this conclusion, though the lack of prolegs has us thinking it could be a different species of insect larva. That said, the location of its discovery has us weary about saying anything too certain. When worms are found in or near pet food, readers are often concerned about parasites. Amanda does not say anything of that nature, but given the chance that the creature did come from the cat, we have to exercise caution.
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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