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Large Maggot - Polistes

Large Maggot - Polistes
Walpole, NH, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, USA
July 24, 2010
Size: .5"
I found this large maggot on a tarp that covers an outdoor polyphemus caterpillar rearing cage. It was after a night of heavy rain so guessing it climbed up from the ground (I know they can only climb on wet surfaces)? I live near agriculture but I know green/blue fly are much smaller. This thing is a bit over 1/2" long and 1/4" at widest point. It reminds me a bit of Enicospilus americanus (ichneumon wasp) but it is not as large and they oviposit in living larvae. It's brown head/face is intriguing. I will rear it out and see what it becomes (if I can).


Images of this individual: tag all
Large Maggot - Polistes Large Maggot - Polistes Large Maggot - Polistes Large Maggot - Polistes

Moved from Polistes.

Moved from Frass.

Definitely Polistes.


Moved from ID Request.

I think it might be a Polistes larva, actually
It looks just like the larva of a paper wasp

Not Polistes
You wouldn't see such larvae running around outside of the nest. They are taken care of and leave the nest only when they are grown up.
It is not a maggot either; I can see eyes and maggots don't have such.

It is NOT an uncommon occurrence
to find discarded Polistes larvae in random places like this. Trust me, I have seen it more than a few times. They are carried away from the nest by the adults for various reasons and are not "running around", so you can't rule it out

Thanks to all...

No, they have not been feeding on my cats as they are tightly secure (believe me!!!) in screen cages and I care for them daily. Wasps do come visiting while I am changing food and I have to be very attentive and diligent but for I am the "queen" of my Lep nest! ;)

I said maggot only because that was what first crossed my mind. I did wonder about wasp (as I noted Enicospilus americanus). It looked like a wasp larvae but I could not understand why it would be out of the nest!

I have now found two others. We do have a wasp nest under the cover of our gas tank which sits right beside my setup so if they are known to discard the occasional larva then this is probably exactly what is happening. It is very interesting to learn. So I assume it will not be able to pupate and survive out of the nest because it does not have sustenance and I doubt I can feed it appropriately.

thanks for the info!


Could he have been feasting on your big juicey caterpillars?

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