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Photo#39796
Colorful larva

Colorful larva
Doña Ana County, New Mexico, USA
December 26, 2005
Size: 5 mm approx.
Found under a large rock flake on lower slopes of Organ Mountains.

Images of this individual: tag all
Colorful larva Colorful larva Colorful larva Colorful larva

Moved

Melyridae
Dan Young has identified this larva as a melyrid. These are the first larva images for the family on bugguide. [UPDATE: Maybe the first larval images identified on bugguide but Tom Murray captured pics of one months earlier.]

Bears a little resemblance to

Larva, or immature webspinner?
This seems to have the same general body plan as your juvenile webspinner: .

Maybe they don't develop the silk glands that give them that Popeye-forearm look until later.

 
Hadn't thought of that!
However, I see nothing inconsistent with various beetle larvae. This one's quite an active little guy, definitely a roving type. Seems to be able to see pretty well. I gave him a little piece of moistened dogfood and a damp paper towel scrap, but don't know if he's tried eating it. I suspect he likes his food live. He'll get plenty of little springtails to eat back in New Hampshire.

 
Larva
I may have over-reached there. Looking further online, I see that the nymphs start spinning silk as soon as they hatch. I guess if all you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail...

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