A Maggot is Born!


You may recall that a couple of weeks ago, I posted a photo of my new pet maggots. The idea, which seemed sensible at the time, was that I would put these mystery creatures in a jar on my desk and wait for them to hatch so they could be positively identified.  Then I'd know exactly what was living in the roots of my potted citrus tree.

So that's what I did.  And guess what–this week they hatched!  And what are they?



Which is not a surprise, considering that the very definition of a maggot is "fly larva."

So this does me no good at all. Or maybe it does.  Maybe it tells me that the creatures in the soil were not some other strange, citrus-eating pest, but ordinary flies who just wanted to start a family.

Really, though, I can't say that the experiment had a great deal of education benefit, although the entertainment value was considerable:  I was helping my parents set up Skype videoconferencing, and when they saw me sitting in my office, I said, "Want to see my pet maggots?" and held the jar up to the webcam.  Those are the moments that parents live for, right? To see what their grown children have accomplished in life?

Here's a lousy photo of my newly-hatched maggots.  It's surprisingly hard to take a picture of a fly inside a jar.  Thus ends the maggot report.



  1. I used to gross friends out with my collection of rat-tailed maggots in an aquarium (their aquatic) along with turtle leeches. Invertebrate Zoology was my favorite course in college.

  2. But what a relief, right ? Surely you wouldn’t have been happier if they had hatched into some citrus-eating pest … ?

    The coolness factor of that might have made it almost worth losing your citrus, though.

  3. What a great way to avoid awkward conversations. Overly talkative person sitting next to you on an airplane? Just bring up your maggot raising experiences!!! You just know that they’d leave you alone for the rest of the flight. I’m definitely going to try this.

  4. Maggots.

    In garbage disposal.

    Okay, that’s grosser to me that keeping them in a bottle!

    (I put a leaf with a bazillion web-worm eggs in a baggie for the kids to see before I tossed it this summer. IT was pretty cool to see their reactions to the tiny caterpillars.)

  5. I have finally found my twin sister.
    This summer, feasting on my tomatoes, I found a hornworm (the first of many…)
    I grabbed a big jar, cut off the branch and brought him/her inside to show my husband and 3 boys. Mom, you are weird, they said.
    Then as if my magic, the next day the whole thing was covered with squirmy worms that had hatched from under the caterpiller’s skin. Mind you, jar was on my kitchen counter. Look, look! grabbing magnifiying glass, they are spinning cocoons!
    I was asked to hide it, guests were coming.
    Party poopers.

  6. I also tried to raise a hornworm I found on one of my tomatoes this season…it was going so well until I decided to look at it under my microscope and I accidentally cooked it with the lights. Oops. Guess it’s no worse than getting the boot heel like he would have gotten otherwise, anyway!

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