Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#214905
Insect larva. Parasite?

Insect larva. Parasite?
Great Falls, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
August 17, 2008
Size: 3 - 4 mm
We have a cat "water cooler" that holds approx. 2 liters of water for our cat to drink from. We rinse it out well and refill it with (city) tap-water when it's empty.

Our dog had to be taken to the vet late last night for repeated vomiting. Part of her discharge instructions were to deny food and water for 18 hours after the last time she threw up.

Thus I emptied the cat water coolor into our bathtub. It was nearly empty. I noticed what looked like some debris in the water, which is unusual. Then I noticed that the "Debris" was wriggling. It had what appeared to be some sort of insect larvae swimming in it. I saw perhaps half a dozen, but there may have been more.

They look a little like mosquito larva, but they don't seem to float to the top. They wriggle around in the water.

The larvae are actually pretty pale looking to the eye. I increased the contrast some in order to bring out more detail in the image.

This MAY be the source of our dog's gastric distress, so it's important (urgent) that I get these IDed quickly. Please help if you can. Could this be a parasite of some kind?

You can see a larger version of this image on my pbase site by clicking below:

Images of this individual: tag all
Insect larva. Parasite? Insect larva - detail of tail. Insect larva. Parasite?

if i had
a key in hand, these pictures would be enough for an ID

The other are right.
you already know by this point it's a mosquito larvae (rather common in any standing water source... we have them in our bird bath right now).

As for your dog... I doubt this would cause it. In fact, these suckers compose a favorite food item for a large number of animals, from other insects to fish and amphibians. I wouldn't worry about these guys causing your dog's ailments.

Vomiting would make me wonder if your dog had a gastric worm, poisoning or something else (not to make you panic. I don't know much about canine pathology, so I'm just throwing things out there). Did the vet have anything else to say about your dog? :<

Hope things turn out for the best!

 
Mosquito larva
Thanks everybody for the information. After posting the ID request I found some mosquito larva that looked very my like mine.

Our dog is doing better, thanks for asking.

Can anybody make a close enough ID of genus to move this to the guide? I have lots of pictures of this individual, but I think I showed most of the details I captured in the images I posted.

Definitely a mosquito larva.
Some of the necessary identifying characteristics are really hard to see from a photo, even one as clear and outstanding as this one. Nevertheless, I'm pretty confident that you have an Aedes larva. Bear in mind that the old Aedes genus is being actively disputed, and is likely to be split into several genera soon.

These are not likely to be responsible for your dog's gastric issues.

If you don't want to have adult mosquitoes, you need to refresh your water cooler often enough that larvae can't complete their development, so maybe every few days (less than a week, for sure).

Wish we could tell you more
about your mosquito or midge, but we don't know enough, though several of the BugGuide contributors do know them well. We just wanted to say what outstanding images these were. We could use more lovely posts like this once your dog gets well.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.