A reader wrote to us recently about some white and brown larvae with big round heads that she found in her room. By big heads, we mean that the larvae have heads that are large relative to their thin bodies; indeed, the thin bodies combined with the large round heads make the larvae look a bit like lollipops. The dominant color of the larvae is a light brown, but a segment of their bodies is white. The reader found about 20 larvae in her room, and despite extensive searching she has found nothing that looks like the creatures she found. Of course, she wants to know what is in her room, so she asked us if we know anything about the larvae with big round heads that she found.
Here is the picture the reader submitted along with her question:
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The larvae are small and therefore hard to see, but you can still make out their main features, including their large heads.
The reader emphasized her difficulty in finding any creature that looks like the larvae above, and we understand her struggle. We haven’t seen creatures that look quite like this, and despite our own searching we haven’t been able to find anything that looks much like the creatures in the above image either.
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One thing we can say with relative confidence (and as we have implied all along) is that our reader found some sort of larvae. The reader referred to what she found as worms a couple of times, and we don’t think she found any sort of worm, at least according to our definition of “worm.” This of course barely limits the range of possible creatures that might be in our reader’s room, but it does mean she is looking at the immature form of some sort of insect, and she might see if there are any insects in her room, which might be easier to identify. A staggering number of larvae look more or less the same, and so they can be extremely hard to identify.
Because the heads of the creatures above are distinct from their bodies, they reminded us a bit of the “worms” with black heads we have written about a few times before. However, we weren’t able to offer definitive identifications in these cases either, and in any case the larvae our reader found in this case are distinct looking because their heads are large and brown. Lots of larvae (e.g., certain kinds of gnat larvae) have whitish bodies with black heads, but again we don’t know of any that have brown heads that are quite so big. However, it is worth keeping in mind that the appearance of larvae change, and it is possible the creatures above will start to look more like the numerous types of larvae with white bodies and black heads. This doesn’t point to a definite identification, but it means that our reader might not have found something that is rare or particularly strange in appearance.
Unfortunately, that is all the information we can supply to our reader. Apart from the fact that they are likely larvae, we don’t know what she found. If any of our readers can help with this identification, please leave a comment below.