What is this? #606096 - Ask Extension

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What is this? #606096

Asked November 11, 2019, 10:01 AM EST

Just found tones of this one in a bucket with muddy water. Not sure if it is an insect larvae or a tadpole. Thanks Jackie 

Scott County Maryland

Expert Response

Hello. The organism have you found is called a rat-tailed maggot. It is the immature stage of a Drone Fly. In their adult form, these flies look similar to honeybees and they are beneficial pollinators. Like all flies, they breed in stagnant water. The "tail" part is their breathing tube. You can read more about them in this article from the University of Florida. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in809

Christa

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