Today we will discuss a worm-like organism a reader found in her backyard in Wilton, New York. She explained that it was on her shin when she felt it bite her. She held it on her thumb to get a better look at the creature, and it didn’t bite her again. The specimen “moved like an inchworm and looked like it had eaten something recently.” Here is a picture of the specimen:
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Using our reader’s hand for size comparison, we can see just how tiny this specimen is. It is yellow, and appears to have a round posterior end. We are confident that this is some species of larvae, but we aren’t able to determine if it is the larvae of a moth or butterfly, fly, or beetle.
While mature adult butterflies, moths, flies, and beetles look quite different, the larvae of all of these can be very similar in appearance. Some species of fly larvae, often referred to as maggots, and certain species of beetle larvae, also known as grubs, both look nearly identical. Maggots and Grubs both have small, round, cream-colored bodies with tan heads. Of course this isn’t true for all larvae, since some have distinct markings, coloring, and appendages that make them easy to identify. They have small, round, cream colored bodies with a tan head. We don’t think that this is necessarily a maggot or a grub, we just wanted to explain the similarities of larvae from different species.
Our reader mentioned this specimen “moved like an inchworm.” Inchworms have a distinct way of moving because they have legs on their anterior and posterior ends, but none in the middle. Despite the creature moving like an inchworm, we aren’t confident that it is one. Inchworms, which are geometer moth larvae, range in color from green, grey, or brown, but we have never seen one as yellow as the specimen our reader found. In addition, we don’t notice any legs on the creature. Therefore, we don’t believe this is a good match.
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In conclusion, our reader discovered a small yellow larva in her backyard. We aren’t sure of the species of this larva. If she is still curious about its identity, we invite her to send in a more detailed photograph, or details about what kind of plants she has in her backyard.