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Microdon sp. Larvae - Microdon

Microdon sp. Larvae - Microdon
8th Crow Wing Lake, Hubbard County, Minnesota, USA
August 21, 2010
Size: Approx. 4 mm
Not the best image, but these are a pair of Microdon larvae that I found under a stone when moving some garden borders around. I had no idea they were actually MAGGOTS! Just really cool. Currently they reside in a container, being catered to with pupae of various Formica sp. ants. They are growing well, and darkening more which leads me to believe they will pupate soon.

Nice "Reticulate" Patterned Larva
Here are two interesting papers I recently bumped into:

Duffield, R. M., "Biology of Microdon fuscipennis (Diptera: Syrphidae) with Interpretations of the Reproductive Strategies of Microdon Found North of Mexico", Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 83(4), 1981, pp. 716-724.

Thompson, F. C., "Revisionary Notes on Nearctic Microdon Flies (Diptera: Syrphidae)", Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 83(4), 1981, pp. 725-758.

The first paper has much interesting life history info, and also info on rearing puparia, which may be of interest to you.

The second paper provides keys to adults and puparia of Nearctic Microdon species north of Mexico, along with distribution, synonomy, and ant host info.

Hope all goes well with your puparia rearing, and that you'll be able to get good images of adults to add to your series here. You may well be able to key your friends as puparia and as adults, which would be great! :-)

PS: I posted a photo of a reticulate Microdon larva here.

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