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FAQs on Aquatic Insects and Freshwater Aquariums: Aquatic Flies of All Types  (Caddis, Gnats, Midges...)

Related Articles: Invertebrates in Freshwater Aquariums, Invertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks,

FAQs on Aquatic Insects:  Aquatic Insects 1, Aquatic Insects 2, Aquatic Insects 3, Aquatic Insects 4, Aquatic Insect Identification, Aquatic Insect Control
FAQs on Aquatic Insects by Group: Beetles, Dragonflies,, Freshwater Mites, Mosquitos/Mozzies and much more!


Midge Larva control     2/21/17
Good Morning,
I have spent countless hours here and on Google trying to solve my problem. I have identified what I think is midge larva in my tanks, first they were in my sponge filters, which I removed and cleaned replaced with hang on the back filters. Now they are back, which are driving me crazy!
<Mmm; windows screened? The adults are getting in somewhere>
I have a 30 gallon tropical tank with 6 Cory catfish and 7 neon tetras, in this tank I never see them free swimming, however they are in the filter and filter media. Within days I can see their little casings in the media and if I rinse the sponges there are hundreds of them!
My second tank is a little more of a pain, in it a have an adult axolotl and the larva are in everything. Sand, filter, sometimes on the glass resting. I’m assuming this is because my axolotl is too big to make a snack of these critters. Everything I have read says they make good free foods and to leave them however, larva turns into something, and I do not want an infestation in the rest of my house!
I also have two 10 gallon tanks in another part of the house with two juvenile axolotl that is completely healthy and pest free, just these two tanks in my basement living room.
How can I get rid of these things for good?
<For good? Really, the only way is to remove the life you want to keep and "nuke"; likely bleach all (There's an S.O.P. on WWM Re)... Then rinse, refill, move some old media, gravel from the upstairs tanks to the ones in the basement to establish cycling and... start over from there. Otherwise, you could try relatively arthropod-toxic treatment/s... or possible predators. BUT, you've got to fix however adult flies are getting into the tanks>

I am constantly changing water and filter media to control the numbers but never see flies, just the worms in the filter and axolotl tank.
I greatly appreciate your advice,
<Sure. Bob Fenner>
Updated: midge larva control     2/21/17

* I apologize, I forgot to attach the photos I was able to take of the larva.
<Got them. Thanks. BobF>

What is this?       5/30/15
I have put an avocado pit in water and after a few weeks, I found these worms in the water. The most pointy side are mostly at the top of the water, as if for breath!
<Can't really tell from your photo but description matches "rat-tailed maggots" which are the larval form of specific types of fly and very interesting beasts! Not many people get to see them, so well done! Probably better outdoors in some swampy bit of pond though. Cheers, Neale.>

Strange worms in tubes and algae       3/13/15
I have a newly planted freshwater aquarium with no fish. I have a few Amazon swords, crypts, and Anubias plants. I have 2 t5 fluorescent grow lights. My planted tanks has some kind of dark green algae with squiggly lines and with some kind of worms. The worms are growing in some kind of single tube.
<Indeed! Sessile chironomid larvae or similar. Also an Hydra visible in one photo, the branched, off-white tree-like organism.>
The worms poke their heads out of tube for a few seconds and then go back in the tube and hide.
I can't find anything like them on the internet and was hoping you might be able to tell me what they are and if I should get rid of them and is it safe to put fish in the tank with them?
<Harmless filter-feeders; fish food. The hydra is a bit more of a risk in a breeding tank (will catch, eat tiny fry).>
Here is a couple of pictures. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. Sincerely, Robert.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

very nice pic.

Wormlike wigglers in cycling tank      /Neale        2/19/15
Can you guys identify what these are? They appear to be little white worms in the water but zoomed in they look like larvae of some type. This is in a new setup about 4 weeks old, no fish, fresh black onyx sand, RO water, and 81 degree temp. They seem to have come out of no where. Thanks in advance. Video below image.
<Midge larvae or something similar. Totally harmless, and likely fish food if you add anything insectivorous of appropriate size (such as tetras). Not mosquitoes, anyway, which attach to the surface film of water. Cheers, Neale.>
Wormlike wigglers in cycling tank    /RMF
Can you guys identify what these are?
<Mmm; yes>
They appear to be little white worms in the water but zoomed in they look like larvae of some type. This is in a new setup about 4 weeks old, no fish, fresh black onyx sand, RO water, and 81 degree temp. They seem to have come out of no where. Thanks in advance. Video below image.
<Insect larvae... heads appear too small to be mosquitoes, maybe Midge larvae. I'd net out, remove. Bob Fenner>

Re: Wormlike wigglers in cycling tank      2/19/15
Thanks for the reply. I added what is now a very full and satisfied Platy to the tank.
<Heeee! I bet!>
The thing couldn't get to the little morsels fast enough. Happy to say that all wigglers are gone.
Thanks again.
<Cheers Mark. BobF>

Could you all please I.D.      1/1/15
Any clue? I've asked around, yet nobody seems to know.
<Mmm; would like a bigger, better resolved pic... My initial guess is that this is a juvenile Tunicate, a larval Ascidian of some kind/species.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Could you all please I.D.     1/2/15
This is the best I have
<Video clip>
 I had gotten rid of him, I didn't want him to harm my tank.
Thanks for getting back with me bob fenner
<My guess is still on the Thaliacean. BobF>
Inputs for Bob (Re: Could you all please ID dated 1/1/2015)   1/3/15

To my Kumpadre Bob,
<Hey Rix!>
Hi! I hope you and the crew had a great time during the holidays. I'd like to chime in on the erstwhile unidentified organism in the letter dated 1/1/2015. No info was given regarding the habitat, but if it was collected in freshwater, it might be a rat-tailed maggot.
<Just looked up; neat!>

I had fun collecting these in anoxic creeks during my younger years in Manila (gosh the memories haha). Hope this info helps. Thanks for all the help you and the crew have been providing all these years, and wishing you all the best for 2015.
Rix Pavia
<Mabuhay mi pare jo! Bob Fenner>

Weird Things in my Tank     11/6/14
Hello, my name is Brooke. I'm writing in regards to these strange creatures
I found in my boyfriend's fish tank. He has a 29 gallon tank that was purchased on September 27th. He currently has 3 Gold Danios and a couple snails. He's waiting for the tank to cycle before adding other fish. The PH is about 7.2. The ammonia fluctuates between 0 and 0.25, the Nitrites are 0 and the Nitrates are at 40. He's new to the hobby, but has done everything according to what the people at our local fish store have recommended. He keeps the tank at 76 degrees. He has an Aquaclear 30 filter. He has live plants that were purchased at the time of the tank, before the fish. He has, I believe, Fluorite Black substrate mixed with a little black gravel.
We do weekly 10% water changes. During the water change, he suctions the substrate as well as he can without digging up plants. I'm not sure if all of this is useful to you in helping to ID these creatures, but figured it would be better to include it, just in case. I noticed the creatures about a week ago. They looked like small bits of root coming off some of the plants that have been floating at the top of the water. The creatures were green in color, small, and long. After closer inspection, I saw that there were also some that were a little larger and brown. I did some research (days of pouring over Google as well as your site) and couldn't find anything other than maybe a Damselfly Nymph, but still felt like it was unlikely. I decided to watch and see what happened. As they got larger, they started to look like they had little bug or shrimp bodies sticking out of the long, skinny, brown "shell," and I could see a "vein" pumping through the "shell." They also look like they have a long piece of plant root attached to their top sides. They don't seem to have a preference as to which portion of the tank they are in, as long as they are on something.
I've seen them on plants at the top, walking on the walls, and walking along on the bottom of the tank. Although, they do seem to like being on the plants the most. I tried to get a few pictures of them, though it's
hard as the biggest are only about an inch in length. I'm including a picture of a smaller one as well as a close up of a larger one from the top and a larger one from the side. My main questions are: What are they? Are they safe to keep? If not, what should I do? If they are, is there  anything I need to know about their care? I've found them quite interesting to watch, so I'm hoping they are keepers. Thank you so much!
<The photos aren't sharp, so can't be sure. But are these Caddisfly Larvae or something similar? That's what they look like to me. They're hugely diverse, including some species that eat algae, some that feed on particles of organic matter, some that capture small invertebrates such as other insect larvae. I can't think of any that eat fish, and they're so small none should be a threat to anything bigger than, say, fish fry anyway. So you might want to observe this beast a while longer. Look up Trichoptera in your local area and see if any match the animal you have here. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Weird Things in my Tank     11/6/14
Thank you so much! It looks like that is exactly what we have. I suppose we'll watch them, and once they have emerged from the water, we'll catch them and let them go outside. They're really quite fascinating! It's hard to believe they've built their cases out of stuff they've found in the tank!
I really appreciate all your help as well as your quick reply!

FW parasite ID     8/18/13
Good morning
 <And you>
I wondered if you could help with identifying the attached...
 I found 8 of them on the bottom of my quarantine tank after treating a sick platy with an anti-parasite medication (liquid Praziquantel 'Prazi Pro') . As far as I know they came from inside the poor fish.
 <Mmm; appear to be chitinous in this pic... external, or gill cavity (which is also ext.)...>>

The heads are dark and visible to the naked eye. About 0.3mm across. The bodies had largely disintegrated before I got them but looked to have been maybe a cm or so long and worm-like...
<Hmmm; please do send along an image of a whole specimen if you can>

without the dark cuticle (?) visible on the head part. I did see some other structures - a node with fine hooks or hairs (bursa? couldn't tell which part it had been attached to) and the structure coming from the inside of the head shown on the doc. file. 
 Hunting around on the web the closest I can find is some kind of hookworm ... what do you think? The teeth and claw structures are really distinctive but I couldn't find a picture of anything quite like these anywhere...
I'd like to know what they are and whether my main tank is likely to be swarming with eggs and larvae just waiting to latch onto one of my other fish and whether there is any point in re-treating my sick fish with the Prazi Pro - she is still very sick-looking and not eating. (It is 7 days since I first quarantined and treated her)
<If they are worms, the Prazi has likely eliminated them; if crustaceans; you'll need to treat w/ another compound. See WWM re such for freshwater fishes.>
Any help/info would be appreciated!
<The head, mouth parts, are reminiscent of Ergasilus, some other copepods... perhaps... Bob Fenner> 

Re: unknown parasite, FW...      8/18/13
Thanks for the quick response! Had a look at Ergasilus spp on the web - but nowhere seems to mention they have 'teeth' - which are very distinctive in the species I have and I think would be commented upon somewhere...
<Mmm, yes>
I have make the attached composite photos of the 2 specimens I have of bodies ('body 2' has two versions - a light and dark)... I am afraid both specimens are in pretty bad shape but I had another good look under the microscope and can't see any obvious structures like legs or chitin plates etc... so don't know if these help much! I am also not sure if they are complete or the tail end has broken off - looks broken to me so there could be missing parts.
<... no apparent legs? Quite common in internal parasites; and of course worms lack them... But do have eyes; and these too tend to be absent, or greatly reduced... These appear to be segmented... and still arthropods...
Did you actually see them being evacuated from the fish's vent? Am leaning toward (guessing) aquatic insect larvae... non-parasitic; though can be piscivorous... Do put the string "freshwater aquatic insect larvae" in your search tool and take a long look/see at images... do any of these bear close resemblance to what you have here?>
Sorry about the quality - I am just holding my camera and taking shots down the microscope tube.
<Good work; better than I could do. BobF>

Re: unknown parasite     8/18/13
Oh - that's an idea! I'll send the photos to a friend who is an aquatic invertebrate person... though I have to say I still think they must be parasitic. I scooped the sick fish out of the aquarium in a small container to transfer her to the quarantine tank and  I think I would have noticed if these guys were with her. But maybe not! Perhaps there is something else completely different wrong with the fish...
<... do look at the system this fish was hauled from... At the surface especially. B> 
Re: unknown parasite     8/18/13

I agree - the mouthparts do look like those of an insect....
Any suggestions as what to do with my sick fish? Any other treatment (if it 's not an internal parasite) you can suggest?
<As you were first directed.>
Symptoms are - very thin, lethargic, not eating or if eats - spits food out, has been like this for at least last 2 weeks (was away on vacation before so not sure how she was...), other fish in original tank all fat and bright, can't see anything obvious on her externally....

Re: unknown parasite     8/20/13
FYI Identified the mystery 'parasite'
 It's a midge larva!

Not a parasite at all but residue from feeding bloodworms... must have been in the water the fish was transferred in (from the main tank) or from her gut and pooped out once in the quarantine tank...
 <Ah yes; as I had guessed>
Back to the drawing board for my diagnosis!
<No worries; not harmful. Bob Fenner>

Planted Tank, fish sel. for pest control 11/9/11
Dear WWM,
Usually this would concern marine topics, however I do have a 20 gallon freshwater planted. My goal when I purchased it was to make a tank that would be almost self sufficient, obviously it needs water added on occasion due to evaporation and flow provided, my end product has a small heater, and filter, and standard light (also receives ample sunlight). Stocked with Micro Sword which is growing across that tank; Amazon Sword that has more than doubled in size and number of leaves; Argentine Swords which grow and are a nice back drop, Java Fern slow growing, and what I believe to be a Ludwigia peruensis that likes to loose leaves every time new ones grow in.
I also have two Apple Snails, Six Ghost shrimp that keep having babies whom I can never find. I would assume this is due to the free swimming larva encountering the filter. One common Pleco. I also have gnats that like to land and die in the water much to my dismay. Is there a fish I could get that would not have a high demand or be over-whelming to my tank that would eat the gnats and algae? The algae I already identified to be Green Spot Algae rather than a non-photosynthetic type. Thanks.
<Depending on water temperature and water chemistry, something from the killifish or livebearer groups would seem most appropriate here. At low-end tropical temperatures, Florida Flagfish can make excellent algae eaters.
They're territorial but not especially aggressive. Other pupfish-type Killies might be used depending on their availability in your area.
Livebearers are good for tanks with moderately hard to hard water. Alfaro cultratus is an exception, doing well in soft water, though it is difficult to breed and eats mostly insects rather than algae. On the other hand, Limia nigrofasciata is an excellent algae-eater and unusual enough that passing on excess fry is easy to do. The Dwarf Mosquitofish, Heterandria formosa, would be an excellent choice for your tank, being so small it'd have minimal impact on water quality unless you kept hundreds. Naturally, you could go with plain vanilla livebearers too, such as Endler's. Just as an aside, the Plec has no place in this tank and will cause trouble before long; neither will it do much/anything to hold back algae. Replace with an Ancistrus instead; these are smaller, reasonably good algae eaters, and very easy to keep. Otocinclus might be an option too, but they're delicate, dislike warm water, easily starved, and often die within a few months or a year of purchase. Cherry Shrimps are much easier to breed, and they're also more colourful, and in my opinion the best all-around shrimps for most tanks. Do bear in mind that Green Spot Algae isn't going to be removed by any fish. To deal with this algae type, you want to adopt a preventative approach, perhaps through a combination of physical removal of what you have now, Nerite snails for scraping away new colonies before they start, and the use of fast-growing plants (ideally, floating plants) to inhibit algal growth. Cheers, Neale.>

Freshwater insect larvae ID 6/26/09Crew,
I mostly tore down my QT tank before going on a work trip 2 weeks ago.
While I was gone there was gravel enough to cover the bottom and water to just cover the gravel (maybe 1cm). I was cleaning the tank today by adding hot tap water and I noticed what I assume are insect larvae. Sorry the pics are out of focus. The long, gray UFO (unidentified freshwater object)
is about 1.5 cm actual length. The other 2 are about .5 cm.
<It's the larva of a dipteran of some sort. Midge, mosquito... something like that.>
No matter what, I plan on having all these things cleared out of the aquarium before the wife sees them. She hates anything wriggly!
<They're fish food. Not a problem.>
Thanks for any help.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Spiders in my silver dollar tank 5/8/2009
Hi guys,
I have Googled till I'm cross-eyed, but still can't find any advice on a creature I've found in my tank when vacuuming.
It looks like a silver grey spider, body about 5 mm long, 3 mm wide, 6 legs, and is quite active. The total leg span would be about 1.5cm.
<Well, if it has six legs, it's an insect. My guess would be a Damselfly larva; these are quite commonly seen in fish tanks, coming in with aquatic plants and portions of live food. They are predatory, but beyond fish fry, it's hard to imagine them causing real harm.>
It was cleaning the muck off its feet in the bottom of the bucket and is quite cute. I'm reluctant to kill it or to put it back incase it's a parasite and my harm my large silver dollars.
<Damsel- and Dragonfly larvae are indeed fascinating animals, and easy enough to rear in floating breeding traps. They can be hand-fed live or (wet) frozen bloodworms using forceps.>
I know they're not in the right tank, I have a large bio-orb, which is actually difficult to clean as the filter sits in the bottom of the orb and is quite small, but they grew so quickly, I'll need to buy another tank.
<I'll say! Just as an aside, BiOrb tanks may look good, but in terms of fishkeeping, they're very poor value for a whole host of reasons. Stick to traditional long, rectangular shapes. Avoid anything tall, round, or otherwise odd in shape.>
My local aquarium isn't much assistance, they couldn't identify the leech, red thread worms, or little white flea like creatures.
Still, thanks for your advice.
<Happy to help.>
I'm loving owning fish and there's so much to learn. I now have 5 tanks!
Started from one, but fish grew, bred, had personality issues.... I'd better learn quickly.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Identify Worm 11/23/08 I live in coastal SC and I kept my turtle tank outside during the summer and fall. I just brought it in for routine cleaning and because of cold weather. The tank had some strange "worms" that looked a little like "naked caterpillars with long string-like tails." The ones that were moving were a fleshy tan color. There were also some that were black or dark brown and very hard. Some of them were in the water but some were attached together by the "strings" and hanging off of a rock in the tank. I have looked on many sites and tried many different search terms but am not coming up with an answer. Please help me identify this strange little creature. Brandi <Hello Brandi. What you're describing is almost certainly a "rat-tailed maggot", a distinctive fly larva that inhabits stagnant water. The long "tail" is a breathing tube. They're pretty much harmless, and in England at least very common in small, unfiltered ponds. Fish (and likely turtles) don't seem to eat them, or at least my fish don't! Cheers, Neale.>

Strange Creatures in FW tank 9/20/08
Hi people
On performing a water change earlier today, i noticed a couple of odd creatures which came from within the gravel of my goldfish tank. Any idea whether these be friend or foe. Actual size is around 12mm (½?) in length...
Thanks in advance J
<Hello! This URL asks for a log-in and password. How about just sending a small (max, 500 k) attachment? That's what most folks do, and we thank them for it. In the meantime, most small bugs and worms in fish tanks are harmless. Cheers, Neale.>

Strange Creatures in FW tank
Hi Neale
On performing a water change earlier today, i noticed a couple of odd creatures which came from within the gravel of my goldfish tank. Any idea whether these be friend or foe. Actual size is around 12mm (½?) in length...
<Hi Brad. This is, I believe, a Damselfly larvae; looks like a Dragonfly nymph, but the give-away is the "tail" made from three filaments. Dragonfly larvae are bigger, have more robust jaws, and a stubby "tail". Damselfly nymphs are predatory, but only sufficiently large to take small fish, perhaps livebearer fry. Otherwise they're fish food! Quite fun to rear yourself, they can be hand fed bloodworms with forceps, and it's rather fun to watch their bizarre mouths anatomy in action. Dragonfly larvae are much more dangerous to fish, some varieties being anything up to around 8 cm/3" long (at least here in England) and more than capable of eating things like minnows. In any case, almost certainly came in with live plants that were grown outdoors, though possibly in batches of things like Daphnia. Does rather stretch the imagination to assume either a Damselfly or Dragonfly flew into your home and laid its eggs there, but it's possible I suppose! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Strange Creatures in FW tank 9/21/08
Hi Neale
Thank you for the response. Since I only have large-ish goldfish in the tank, looks like they will not be a problem. I do buy live plants for my fish to snack on, so I guess that was the ticket in for the larvae.
Thanks again
Brad :)
<Hi Brad. Those Damselfly larvae should cause no harm to your Goldfish; in fact I'm surprised they haven't been eaten yet! Cheers, Neale.>

Fly Larvae in Turtle Tank, shoo fly, shoo 6/29/2011
Dear Crew,
<Hiya! Darrel here>
I have a problem with larvae getting into the filters.
<I hate when that happens>
I know there's been questions like this asked but normally they describe white circles or worms that swim around in the water and are parasites.
<A parasite swimming around in the water sounds more like my brother-in-law on vacation in Hawaii>
I know that the larvae grow up to be some type of flying insect, not sure what kind but they look almost like fruit flies. So here's the deal:
I have a year 1/2 old Red Eared Slider who resides in a 20 gallon aquarium with a waterfall type filter and a real log.
<Real wood gets really waterlogged and grows real fungus eventually. An alternative might be some sort of rock or plasticized wood often sold in aquarium stores for tank decoration>
There have been dark black-brown worm-like larvae crawling on the filters when I clean the tank every week 1/2 - 2 weeks. I'm not sure when they start to develop but by the week 1/2 point there is normally one or two types of flies surrounding the tank;
<Sounds attractive, huh?>
While some may be getting in from outside and being attracted to the heat lamp, the larvae have been growing on the filters for a couple months and the filters have been replaced every time I've cleaned them. Do you know what this could be caused by?
He eats Omega One Adult Turtle Sticks and the filters seem to have a type of rock in them and are white rectangles.
<Ceramic cells that encourage bio-filtration>
I'm not sure of the brand at this time.
<Many brands '¦ same stuff>
He was found in a pipeline in a steel mill and rescued by my half-sister's dad who gave him to us.
<Thanks, Dad!! That was really nice of you.>
Thanks for your help, and sorry if this has been asked already!
<No apologies necessary, Courtney. It happens all the time>
<The answer is most likely that you've never fully killed the eggs, so some hatch and pupate before you even notice and in turn mature and lay new eggs.>
<So here's what I'd do: Take Piper ('cuz you'd name a turtle from a pipe Piper, right?) out of the tank and find him a new place to live for a few days. Someplace warm and DRY. We're going to keep him out of water except for 15 minutes a day when you put him in a shallow container of water with a bit of food. He'll eat & drink and hopefully he'll poop. If he poops in the container water, which you're flushing - any eggs in his digestive tract will be eliminated from the cycle. If he poops in his dry box, the eggs will likely not hatch anyway, but you're still cleaning that up daily.>
<Meanwhile, leave his tank intact. Water to the regular "full" level and maybe even an inch more. Add 1 cup of chlorine bleach per approximate gallon of water. Even a bit more is OK as long as you can ventilate the room so no one breathes the fumes. It's important that you leave the filters on and running during this process. What we want to do is kill the larvae and eggs everywhere -- inside the tubes, down in the impeller -- all the places you'd never reach with even the most thorough cleaning. After 24 hours, you can drain the water, break the system down and clean everything. Rinse, use soap and water, rinse again & then set it back up.>
<Let it run clean & sterile for another 3 days, then put Piper back in. Chances are that you'll have broken the larvae cycle>
<How was THAT as an answer on a scale of 1 to 10???>

Damselfly nymph 10/10/10
I have a 20g long shrimp only tank with a medium-fine gravel substrate, planted with Sagittaria, hornwort, java fern (medium density). 2x 18w bulbs, nothing out of the ordinary. Housing maybe 20 RCS, 15% water change weekly. pH ~ 7.6, all chemistries 0. I have found myself a damselfly nymph (am led to believe is this, and not dragonfly, due to longer, more slender body). Question is, are they detrimental to RCS population? I have removed one I saw (is roughly 1' long), do not see others. Is this a 'keep eyes open for more and take out as needed' deal, or something more drastic? I don't want to break this tank down for this. Any advice appreciated.
<Brandon, Damselfly nymphs are predators, and they will eat very small animals of all types, including fish fry. Whether they can actually kill an adult shrimp is questionable, but they might take juveniles. Of course Damselfly nymphs do need to eat *something*, so unless you're providing suitable live or wet-frozen food for them -- they suck the juices out using their jaws -- it's probably best to move the nymph to a pond nearby. They're neat animals, and the adults are beautiful and in some cases endangered. One last thing, Damselfly nymphs are distinct from Dragonfly nymphs in having three breathing tubes at the tail-end of their abdomen, structures that Dragonfly nymphs lack. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Damselfly nymph 10/10/10
Indeed a damselfly nymph then.
I have moved said nymph to another location, but in the absence of naked-eye visible ones, is it likely there are more?
<Unlikely. This is indoors? Unless you have damselflies flying around your home, it's most likely this one came via plants or live food, both of which can be cultivated outdoors or in large glasshouses where damselflies might be buzzing about.>
I suppose it's just a keep watch, remove as needed affair?
Probably half my shrimp are berried at various stages, so I don't believe population-wise the nymphs will pose an issue, unless they appear in large numbers. Just keep eyes open and remove PRN?
<Pretty much. They're such neat animals, you might even choose to keep one as a pet. Some remain in their nymph form for months, even a couple of years, depending on water temperature. I've used forceps to feed them wet-frozen bloodworms, and various small live foods such as glassworms will be taken, so they aren't difficult to maintain. Cheers, Neale.>

identity of small black wriggly worms/larvae 9/17/10
Hi! We're currently residing in Manila, Philippines. It's happened twice already wherein we found more than a dozen thin black wriggly larvae on the countertop of our bathroom sink. It seems like they just magically appear out of nowhere.
<Almost certainly some sort of Dipteran larvae.>
They wriggle their heads and tail ends from side to side. Really gross!
<Nothing in nature is "gross", merely different.>
I'm afraid they're harmful parasites.
<Very unlikely.>
I'm worried for my kids.
<Don't be.>
Help! What are they? And how do we prevent them from reappearing.
<Dipterans tend to be attracted to moist, warm places with organic matter on which they can feed. There are many types of Dipteran, including things like house-flies and mosquitoes through to more obscure species. Dipterans dislike dry houses with nothing for them to eat, and the are eaten by spiders and carnivorous plants. So there are some clues there about what you can do to minimise problems with Dipterans.>
Thanks so much for your help!
<Please understand we aren't environmental health consultants; we're fishkeepers. If you're concerned about pest animals inside your home, you need to speak to genuine experts. Only your doctor will be able to tell you if these organisms are a threat to your health, and only pest control professionals will be able to determine why these animals are getting into your home. So take my diagnosis for what it is, speculation on the part of a non-expert. In no way is WetWebMedia liable for any health or other problems caused by these larvae or your subsequent actions. Cheers, Neale.>

Worm Identification 8/30/10
I found a worm in my drinking glass this morning. I assume it came in through my tap water. Could you help me identify it?
Thank you.
<It's not a worm; it's an insect. Some sort of Dipteran larvae, e.g., a midge. Harmless, and an excellent fish food! Cheers, Neale.>

Red Worm ID (Royal Plec) 11/19/07 I've had a 3 1/2" Olive Royal Plec alone in quarantine for 10 days or so. I dewormed with Praziquantel last week at the recommend dosage (76 mg/10 g) as I know they're wild caught and don't want to pass anything onto my own fish. He went into a 20 gal tank with new aged water and a fully cycled Penguin 280 bio-wheel filter from another tank. I did his 25% water change today (after leaving the Praziquantel in 5 days) and found these live red worms (pic attached) in the water I syphoned off the bottom of the tank. Pretty wiggly and entertaining under the microscope but I can't figure out what they are via the FAQ's. If they weren't alive I'd have thought they were frozen bloodworms. I'm hoping it's a harmless worm that can be treated as the Plec is eventually going in with my much loved Severum. I promise not to bother you anymore, but maybe the picture will help others. Mitzi <Looks like a chironomid larva (a.k.a. midge larva or bloodworm) to me. Probably got in with some live food. Usually get eaten by fish, so not common in aquaria. But if this tank was empty for a while, then it's possible a midge laid some eggs there. In any case, harmless. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Red Worm ID (Royal Plec) 11/19/07 Thanks, Neale. I feel stupid then but thankfully that's good news. I never feed live food, but the driftwood in his tank had been soaking for a month in a large kiddie pool outside. I rinsed it off real well but I bet that's where the bloodworms came from. (The tank had been empty and stored before he went in it). What a relief! Mitzi <Mitzi, Glad we have a happy ending here! Cheers, Neale.>

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