Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

Maggot - Insect Larva

share icon
share icon

What is a Maggot Insect Larva?

A maggot is the larva of an insect (order Diptera), primarily a young form of the fly before it transforms into its mature form. Maggots evolve from eggs laid by flies. A larva is a juvenile form of insect with indirect growth, going through or enduring a metamorphosis. The larva can look entirely different from the adult form. 

Maggots are Brachycera flies larvae rather than Nematocera larvae; the common types are cheese flies, blowflies, and houseflies. Maggot-like fly larvae are of vast significance in ecology and medicine; among other roles, different species are extended in recycling decay organisms and garbage, attacking crops and foodstuffs, spreading microbial infections, and causing myiasis. Maggots can be found in houses, and also, maggots in carpets are common. 

[Image will be uploaded soon]

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Rat-tailed maggots are the larvae maggots of a specific species of hoverflies pertaining to the tribes of Sericomyia and Eristalini. The rat-tailed maggot has distinctive characteristics; it has a distinct posterior with a telescopic breathing siphon and a tube-like structure. This acts as a snorkel, enabling the larva to breathe air while swamped. 

The siphon usually is as long as the maggot's body 20 mm (0.79 in) when mature but can be enlarged to around 150 mm (5.9 in). This organ gives the larva its common name. The most commonly found rat-tailed maggot is the larva of the drone fly, Eristalis tenax. It subsists in stagnant, oxygen-deprived water with high organic content. It is relatively tolerant of pollution and can live in sewage lagoons and cesspools.

Fruit Fly Maggots

Fruit fly larvae and adult fruit flies are a dilemma in worm fertiliser bins where waste rests too long before being consumed by worms. Fruit flies lay eggs on fruit skins, such as banana covers, and the eggs hatch in the warm, moist environment of worm compost bins. 

Fruit flies are about 1 to 2 mm long, orange or light brown in colour, slow-moving flies generally present in or near fruit bowls or trash bins, attracted to decaying fruit and vegetables. Controlling fruit fly maggots means preventing fruit fly eggs from accessing the compost and catching as many flies as possible. 

Evading fruit skins to trash cans and promoting fast decomposition so flies aren't drawn to a rotting smell helps control larvae. A layer of paper laid over compost helps to stop flies from laying eggs, and flypapers or fly traps in bins catch flies before they can lay eggs.

Black Maggots

The larva of Hermetia illucens is also known as Black Maggots. In the family of Stratiomyidae, the black soldier fly is a common and easily found member. The Black Maggot's head is wide, with developed eyes its antennae are about twice the head's length. The legs are black with whitish tarsi. 

We can observe membranous wings, which are tucked in horizontally in the abdomen and have overlapping structure. Hermetia illucens is a mimic fly, very small in size, colour, and appearance to the organ pipe mud dauber wasp and its relatives. Black soldier fly larvae can be differentiated from blowfly or housefly maggot by a thin grey-black stripe on their posterior ends.

White Maggot

Genera phyllophaga, cyclocephala and popilia are the genesis for the white maggots. Actual white grubs are the larvae of Phyllophaga species, while the seasonal white maggot is the larva of Cyclocephala species. Adult insects of actual white maggots are called May or June insects. White maggots are cream coloured, C-shaped with a brownish sclerotised head, and have a shiny translucent tail section.

If straightened out, fully grown maggots are about 1.5 in (38 mm) long. All white maggots have three larval evolution. Actual white larvae are distinct from other white maggots by two noticeable parallel rows of stiff threads on the tail end that are zipper-like in appearance. White maggots are occasional insects of corn seedlings. 

Housefly Maggot

Maggots in houses are quite common; the house fly maggots are the ones that fall in this category; they can be aggravating insects found within human homes. The house fly has a strong connection with man and will travel with human populations to even the coldest regions. 

Housefly maggots populations can be dangerous to human health; maggots like worms in the house are quite common: they carry various pathogens and have been linked to the spread of several diseases. 

Want to read offline? download full PDF here
Download full PDF
Is this page helpful?

FAQs on Maggot - Insect Larva

1. How are Maggots Harmful and Useful?

Answer: Maggot is a larva of a fly, and it could be a composition of any fly. These flies or fly maggots give eggs when hatched, giving birth to maggots insects. After that, this maggot turns into pupae and then into a proper fly. This is a perpetual circle of the birth of both maggots and flies. Maggots can pose a danger to both animals and human beings if they get the body or are ingested by mistake. 

Maggots can pervade living tissue through a condition that is commonly referred to as myiasis. Maggots in the house destroy all the food items. Maggots have many uneven bumps all over their bodies which are used to scratch and poke dead tissue, making it easier to exclude from the body. Maggots secrete a fluid able of tearing down proteins that can trigger an overactive immune response. 

2. How Do Maggots Evolve?

Answer: Larva or maggot is also incredibly relevant in forensic entomology because their evolution can help determine the time of death, particularly maggots in the Calliphoridae family. Maggots do not generally represent any organism type; they are primarily a stage in the life cycle of insects like house flies. The maggot stage begins with the hatching of the egg and culminates with the onset of the pupal stage. This maggot stage is further comprising three sub-stages, the end of which results in the pupa stage. Maggots are voracious eaters. The house fly maggots have a complete transformation with distinct egg, larval, pupal and adult stages.