“I have found these “worms” on the roof of my extension”, writes this reader about the thick, grayish green, worm-like creature pictured below. “They only come out when it rains, but there are lots of them! What are they? How can I get rid of them?” Firstly, we want to commend our reader on the excellent photo she sent in, as well as the helpful context and excellent questions. Secondly, we have come to an identification of this creature. We think she found a cranefly larva. Crane flies, typically referred to as ‘flying daddy long legs’ or giant mosquitoes, are neither of these two creatures: neither spiders nor mosquitoes. Which is a good thing! Crane flies are completely harmless to humans and pets.
“This morning I found dozens of tiny worms on the cement in my backyard”, writes Suzanna about the darkly-colored, worm-like creature pictured below. “They are about a half inch to maybe a little shy of an inch. The article “Segmented, Black Worm-like Critter with Spiky Rear and Huge Eyespots” had an image of the closest thing I could find online that looks like them, except instead of four spikes these little guys only have two tiny “spikes” that look barely more than two well-defined tips. But the color and texture of their body and shape are exactly the same as the reader’s critter, perhaps slightly lighter in color. I’ve attached a few pictures. I live in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and I’ve never seen these before and I’m particularly interested because it’s winter, and although yesterday’s high was 65 F, last night temperatures were in the high 30s. Could you please help me identify these? Should I be concerned, especially since there are literally dozens of them that suddenly appeared overnight?”
“Are these crane fly larvae, or horse-leeches?” asks Jonathan about the black, worm-like creature pictured below. “I’m in western NC. These guys are about a ¼-inch long. Closest I could find on my own research are the two stated above. Thank you for your time!” After doing some sleuthing of our own, we have always come to similar conclusions as Jonathan – this does resemble crane fly larvae somewhat (though this creature is a little darker than most crane fly larvae), and it does look like a horse leech (though not as slimy, but that could be due to drying out). In addition to these two creatures, we thought this looked like it could be a lugworm or a stick-resembling caterpillar such as the Geometer moth caterpillar.
We received an email from a reader a little while ago about what appears to be a short, fat larva. The larva was in the reader’s bed climbing on her arm when she discovered it. Its color is hard to describe, but it is basically a brown or grayish hue. The reader didn’t actually ask a question, but we are assuming she is curious what she found, so we’ll focus on the matter of identification. What kind of short, fat brown or gray larva might turn up in a bed?