A couple weeks ago one of our readers sent us this photo:
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She said she found this tiny, dark-colored specimen crawling on her couch. At first she thought it was just a piece of fiber from an item of clothing, but when it moved she realized it was alive! She said she thinks the specimen might have legs or other appendages, but she can’t see clearly enough to confirm this. She hopes we can inform her of what this worm-like organism is.
We can see that the creature is absolutely miniscule. It is much smaller than a finger nail, and in the featured image it appears to be longer than it is wide or round. Since our reader couldn’t see it well enough to know if there are legs on it or not, we also cannot determine this from the photographs she sent us.
Often, photographs are the key to identifying an unknown species. However, in some instances, even a picture can’t help us in determining species. Unfortunately, this case is one of the latter scenarios. The creature is simply too tiny to make out any significant details. There are any number of worm or worm-like organisms that this mysterious specimen might be.
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Based on the size, we believe this is likely a larva, not a worm. It could mature into a beetle, moth, or a different insect. We can rule out a couple of the larvae that we often discuss on this site. Judging by the appearance of the specimen in the photo, we believe it is safe to say that it isn’t a carpet beetle larva or a midge fly larva. It could possibly be a drain fly larva, which are similar in size and color. However, we do not know how or why a drain fly larva would be on a couch and not in a drain, which is its typical environment, so it is probably not a drain fly larva.
To wrap up, a reader sent us two photos of a tiny specimen she found on her couch. We are not sure what the creature is, but we think it is probably a larva, not a worm.