Login
Copyright (c) 2014 by Alfonso Gonzalez Conditions of Use    Privacy Policy Return to Blogmeister
Alfonso Gonzalez -- Blogmeister

Chimacum's Science Blogs-

Mr. Gonzalez's Science Classes

Sixth grade Science students blogging from the Pacific Northwest in Chimacum, WA!
Mr. G's Blog
Mr. G's Science Facebook Page


by Alfonso Gonzalez
Related Links

Huzzah
Blogs by the Sea
Mr. Miller's Class Blog
Making Waves in 6th Grade
Broadbent Blues

Teacher Assignments
Teacher Entries
Show All
Student Entries
Show All

I posted the larvae picts on Ask Me Help Desk, under Entomology, and I got an answer! An agricultural biologist by the screen name gnahcd posted the following answer:

"This is probably a rat tailed maggot or the larva of a syrphid fly. The adults are known as drone flies or also bee flies. A Google image search matches very well. They are mostly harmless. Although accidental myiasis is possible - rat-tailed maggot wiki.

Below is an excerpt from the U of Minnesota Extension.

Mystery Insect Rat-tailed maggot.
Jeffrey Hahn, Assist. Extension Entomologist

People may sometimes encounter this unusual-looking insect larva. It's legless, has a cylindrical body and lacks any obvious head. It is about 1/2 - 3/4 inch long and possesses a very conspicuous, characteristic ‘tail'. Because of this long tail, this odd looking insect is known as a rat-tailed maggot.

This insect larva belongs to a group of flies known as syrphid flies. Syrphids are also known as flower flies or hover flies. They mimic bees or wasps and are very common on flowers and plant foliage. Despite their threatening appearance, all syrphid flies are harmless to people and are actually beneficial because they help pollinate plants. A rat-tailed maggot adult, sometimes referred to as a drone fly, resembles a honey bee.

Rat-tailed maggots are found in stagnant water that is high in organic matter. They are typically found in manure pits, polluted drainage ditches and water tanks, pools of runoff around manure mounds, and similar sites. They are particularly common around farms and fertilizer plants. Also look for them occasionally in urban areas where they can be associated with septic tank runoff or similar pools of stagnant, polluted water. There is also a reference of rat-tailed maggots associated with very wet, decaying plant matter.

The long ‘tail' on a rat-tailed maggot is actually a breathing tube that allows the insect to stay submerged in the water. This tube is normally about 3/4 inches long, but the insect can telescope it out to several times the length of its body. Rat-tailed maggots apparently feed on organic particles that are floating in the water. Although they live in aquatic environments as larvae, they crawl out of water and seek dry sites to pupate. Sometimes they crawl to dry land by the 100's. This mass movement can be a nuisance to people, especially when they travel into adjacent buildings, but they are otherwise harmless."

Good job! :o) Here's another website with good info on the rat-tailed maggot.

Article posted May 24, 2008 at 09:29 PM • comment (3) • Reads 85 • see all articles

My Classes & Students

Period 1
Period 2
Period 3

About the Blogger

I started my teaching career in South Central Los Angeles teaching in modified to full bilingual 4th and 5th grade classes. Then I moved to WA State where I have taught mainly 6th through 8th grade. I have enjoyed the culture clash but notice that kids are the same everywhere :o)

My areas of interest are science and technology but I also love studying ancient cultures and learning about different peoples and cultures.

Mr. G's Other Blog

About Mr. G

Locations of visitors to this page

Captain González
Captain Gonzalez


Get a Voki now!

Latest 10 Comments
Login
Copyright (c) 2014 by Alfonso Gonzalez Conditions of Use    Privacy Policy Return to Blogmeister