“Are you able to identify these?” is all Carol asks in her submission regarding the beautiful, black worm-like critters pictured below. This is definitely one of the best photos we have received in a while. It captures in such detail the unique appearance of these creatures: their pattern of white polka dots and yellow markings, the long red stripe that runs the length of its back, and the horn sticking out from the rear end of its body. Typically, it is still difficult to identify some organisms without more context, even if the photo is good, but this photo is so clear that we managed to identify these guys with no context. These are leafy spurge hawk moth caterpillars!
“I found that these very tiny larvae/worms had taken over a corner of my kitchen essentially within hours,” writes Michelle about the tiny black worm-like creatures pictured below. We will acknowledge right off the bat that the organisms are not that visible in the photo, as the photo is taken too far from the organisms. That said, the video that Michelle also included shows much better, and much clearer, the critters she is referring to. “I have no idea what they are and how concerned I should be”, she continues. “They seem to be spinning a spider web-like web. They were found next to the fridge, not near a drain or the pantry. However, there was a new loaf of bread and package of tortillas nearby. Please let me know if you have any inkling as to what these are. There were a good number of them on that fake plant, however I have had that fake plant for months and never seen an issue. Thank you in advance for your help!”
“I found this very small black worm in a t-shirt that I left on the ground,” writes this reader in his submission regarding the black worm-like critter pictured below. “I live in the city and I would like to know what this could be. This picture was taken moments after I killed it (which was kind of hard).” First off, we want to note that we never condone killing the organisms our readers find in their homes, unless they are definitely a threat to the person or their pets, or if infestations of the given organism are particularly severe (eg: carpet beetle larvae). Secondly, we want to address the identity of the creature. At first we thought it could be some kind of clothes pest, based on the fact that our reader found it on his shirt. However, this critter does not really look like any of the common clothes pests. So, what is it?
“What are these worms gathering underneath my son’s mattress?” asks this mother from Melbourne Australia. Her question pertains to the minuscule, black worms with white polka dots in the photos below.
“I found this worm-like insect on my t-shirt” says this reader about the black, spiky creature in the photo below. Although our reader provides no more context than this, we will do our best to identify the creature, or at the very least provide some helpful tips regarding the discovery of worm-like creatures such as this one.
“I saw this worm in the den on the carpet at my parents house” says this reader about the black, segmented worm-like creature pictured below. Our reader, who is based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, asks if we can tell him what it is.
A gray caterpillar-like creature with a glossy black head was found by this reader, who asks what kind of “worm” it is and where it is coming from. This article will do its best to answer these questions and provide some insightful information on this specific organism.
A rather large, creature was found in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA by a woman who wonders if we can identify it for her. From the excellent photograph provided by our reader, one can see that the creature in question is black with yellow stripes, and is about 2.5-inches in length, according to our reader.
We received an interesting and faintly poetic question the other day about a black “worm” that has a red dot on each body segment. Here is her entire question: “Middle of May, Northern California, Black worm about two inches long, seems hairless has what appears to be thin covering of bristles, red dots on each segment, racing across my deck floor. Please identify.” Unfortunately, no picture was submitted along with the question, so this description is all we have to work with. Obviously, this limits our ability to offer a confident suggestion, but we’ll do what we can.
A reader wrote to us via the All About Worms Facebook page recently about some black caterpillars in her backyard. “Some” black caterpillars probably doesn’t quite capture the situation, as the reader reports that they are “all over” her backyard. The black caterpillars are “yellow underneath,” although you can’t really see this in the picture the reader submitted. The reader is wondering what these black caterpillars in her backyard are, if they are even caterpillars.
A very helpful reader wrote to us in reference to an article we published last year. It was an article about what a curious reader thought was a worm, but was in fact probably a caterpillar based on the physical description we were sent. The caterpillar was long, thick, and spiky. It was also primarily black, although the caterpillar had white dashes on its body and an orange stripe down its back. The reader who more recently wrote to us sent us a picture of what seems like the same caterpillar. We didn’t have a picture of the spiky caterpillar in the old article, so the reader sent us one. Thanks!