Free-Roving Maggot – Syrphid Fly Larva?

2014 September 17

I found this crawling on my arm after a walk in the woods on August 26, 2013. It was only a few millimeters long.

It moved by inching slowly along, which I guess is all you can do when you don’t have any legs.

The narrow, pointed end was the head, such as it was. It would periodically rear up and wave its head around, as if it were looking for something.

Given the complete lack of legs, and the near-complete lack of a visible head, this looks like some type of fly maggot. I think it was probably a Syrphid fly larva, which includes the bee-mimic “hover flies” that we have in some quantity. Rather surprisingly, syrphid maggots are actually free-roving predators. They hunt down and eat things like aphids, which are even less agile than the maggots are. So, it wasn’t trying to infest me, it was just checking me over for aphids.

2 Responses
  1. Carole permalink
    September 17, 2014

    Did you offer it an aphid? I’ve watched through a jewelers loupe as they consumed them. Gruesomely fascinating.

  2. October 3, 2014

    These taste so much better than the industrial-farm-raised maggots you get at the supermarket. Pair them with some organic arugula and a cup of chai and you’ve got a delicious, healthy meal!

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