Pink Worm with Forked Rear is a Soft-winged Flower Beetle Larva

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“What type of worm/larva is this?” is all this reader asks in her submission. She refers to the pink worm-like creature pictured below, which possesses a darker, brown-colored head, and a similarly colored, forked rear. Based on the photo alone, which is all we have to go on, we think this looks like a soft-winged flower beetle larva. Beetle larvae are not technically worms, as they are just the immature form of the adult insect.

Like most insects, beetles go through three stages: larva, pupa and adult insect. It is more complicated than that when one gets into the nitty gritty details, but that is the basic layout of their life cycle. It is not uncommon for beetle larvae to have a spiky rear like this one does: it is that which gave it away as a beetle larva to us. Our reader may want to watch out for those, as they are pointy and likely serve as a defense mechanism. That said, they cannot cause any real harm to humans.

The soft-winged flower beetle larva is predatory, and it eats other invertebrates to store up energy for pupation. Usually, they like to stay hidden, either in soil or under leaf litter and bark, but our reader managed to find this one out in the open (presumably). That may suggest that this larva strayed too far from its habitat, though we cannot say that for sure since we do not know where our reader found the larva. In any case, if this larva was indeed found indoors, then it likely just ended up there accidentally, as they much prefer the outdoors.

As we said before, we do not think these larvae can cause any harm to humans, or pets for that matter. They are not parasitic, and they do not bite or sting, though it must be said there is little information on how the forked rear functions and if the larva has motor control over it. We assume it acts as a defense mechanism against predators, but we are not sure if it merely serves as a visual threat, or if it can actually be ‘used’ as pincers of sorts. So with that said, it is best to be cautious if and when handling the larva. If our reader found this indoors and wants to move it outside, we recommend scooping it up onto a dustpan.

To conclude, the creature our reader found is a soft-winged flower beetle larva. They are not to be feared, so our reader needs not worry about it. We hope this article helps and we wish her the best.

 

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Summary
Pink Worm with Forked Rear is a Soft-winged Flower Beetle Larva
Article Name
Pink Worm with Forked Rear is a Soft-winged Flower Beetle Larva
Description
"What type of worm/larva is this?" is all this reader asks in her submission. She refers to the pink worm-like creature pictured below, which possesses a darker, brown-colored head, and a similarly colored, forked rear.
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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