Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Bug


Location: alone in my bedroom, AZ, USA
Date: 1/11/2013, 6:30pm
Mobility: crawling

-Primary color: tan on top, lighter underneath.
-Secondary color: a darker tan, towards the abdomen on top.

Vermiform in shape, scaly, and wingless. A single tail-like appendage (similar to that of a rat-tailed maggot in shape, but only about as long as its body). 0.45cm long, 0.1cm wide. Its tail is 0.3cm long. Six legs at the front end. Very thin, sparse hairs about the underside of its body. Seems to respond to light; possibly two eyes towards the head, which look like two black specks.

Interesting note: When tape was gently applied to the topside to get a better view, an orange-tan stain was left in the shape of the scales. After turning it over to do look, it stopped moving and presumably deceased.

Attached is a drawing of it.

I appreciate any and all help in identifying this creature. I'm very curious about it!


Looks to be the larva of a beetle of some kind, perhaps this one:


If not, you might try contacting Carl Olson, Associate Curator at the entomology department at University of Arizona in Tucson:


Hope this helps!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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