Thursday, September 29, 2011

Name Those Larvae

Waiting for the school bus on a rainy morning last week, my daughter peered curiously at the ground.  "That looks like a moving piece of rope," she said pointing to a spot on the sidewalk.  We both hunched down with our faces just inches off the ground to take a closer look.  What a curious sight!  There, making its way across the sidewalk, was a "rope" made up of tiny larvae with black heads and rears piled high on top of one another.  They moved in unison and carried along two or three larger white larvae.  At one point there was dissent among the ranks as some of the larvae in front decided to head toward the right while others branched leftward.  After a few seconds, the rebellious right-going larvae changed direction and headed left with the rest of the gang.  Every other larvae in line followed right along, one sliding over the other in a sticky train. 

Six hours later, after school, my daughter and I headed back to the same spot and were amazed to find that the larvae train was still there!  I snapped some photos and a short video so I could try to identify these strange critters.  Cucumber beetle larvae?  Please comment if you know what these are!

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