What Do Maggots Look Like?

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Maggots are essentially the larval stage of flies, and they're often found in carcasses and other decaying matter. Learn about the hooks that maggots use for feeding with information from an entomologist in this free video on insects and bugs.

Part of the Video Series: Insects & Bugs
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Video Transcript

I'm Mike Quinn. Been an entomologist for twenty years. And we're here in Austin, Texas talking about what do maggots look like. Maggots are the larval stage of flies. And they're often in carcasses and other decaying matter and, and highly polluted water. Typically when you have one maggot you have a lot of maggots. And they're a centimeter or less generally in size. And they don't have any legs, but they have two little hooks and thats consists of their mouth parts that they feed with. And one of the more interesting maggots, if we can say a maggot is interesting, is what's called the rat tailed maggot. Lives in highly polluted water. And it has a snorkel as it were that is formed from their tail that, that breaks the surface of the water, and so they're down on the, the ground in this highly polluted water with their tail reaching up to break the surface that they breathe through. But groups of large white, legless, worm-like critters are generally how we recognize maggots.

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