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I found a tiny, white animal in my mouth on the morning of June 28, 2015, in Toronto, Ontario. Luckily I don't seem to have hurt it. I was eating some sunflower and pumpkin seeds at the time. I believe that's how it got there.
The pictures include a toothpick and a Canadian cent to give an idea of its size.
I also took a video of it crawling around. I will post it if the pictures are not sufficient for identification.
This animal is moth larva. The images presented are blurry, but if there are no any dots on the larva my first suggestion is:
pantry/Indian meal moth larvae -
"They are a common grain-feeding pest found around the world, feeding on cereals and similar products."
Class Amphibian: Characters and Classification | Animal Kingdom
1. They are the first cold blooded vertebrates from evolution point of view which came to the land. Class Amphibian includes about 3,000 species.
2. They are amphibious in nature, viz. they can live on land as well as in water. They are mostly found in warm countries. They are ectothermic (cold blooded).
3. Body is divisible into head and trunk. Tail may be present in some amphibians.
4. The skin is smooth or rough having glands which keep it moist.
5. They are usually without scales, but if present they are hidden beneath the skin (e.g caecilians).
6. Paired fins are absent. Unpaired fins may be present. Two pairs of limbs are used for locomotion except caecilions.
7. The gills are present at least in the larval stage some adult forms also carry external gills in addition to lungs (e.g., Necturus, Proteus).
8. Skull is dicondylic, i.e., with two occipital condyles for articulation with vertebral column.
9. The respiratory organs are lungs, buccopharyngeal cavity, skin and gills.
10. The heart is three chambered, having two auricles and one ventricle. In the heart, there are present sinus venosus and truncus arteriosus. Both hepatic portal and renal portal systems are well developed. RBCs are biconvex, oval and nucleated.
11. Kidneys are mesonephric. Urinary bladder is present in frog. Larvae and tailed am­phibians (e.g., salamanders) are ammonotelic. Frogs and toads are ureotelic.
12. Alimentary canal, urinary and reproductive tracts open into a common chamber called cloaca which opens outside through cloacal aperture.
13. Ear consists of internal and middle ear. Tympanum (outer membrane) covers the middle ear. The eyes have eyelids. Nictitating membrane is well developed.
14. Ten pairs of cranial nerves are present.
15. Lateral line system is found during their development.
16. Fertilisation is external. However in Salamander and Ichthyophis (blind worm) fertilisation is internal. They are mostly oviparous however, Salamandra is viviparous. Development is mostly indirect.
17. They return to water for breeding. Male lacks copulatory organs. The metamorpho­sis is usually present. A fish like larva, the tadpole is present.
18. They occur in fresh water and moist land. Amphibians are not found in sea water except a few.
Classifications of Living Amphibians:
Living Amphibians are divided into three orders:
Order 1. Apoda (Gymnophiona or Caecilia):
Limbless, scales present, e.g., Uraeotyphlus, Ichthyophis. They are called “blind worms” or caecilians.
Order 2. Urodela (Caudata):
Tail present, e.g., Necturus (Mud puppy), Amphiuma (Congo-eel), Salamandra, Proteus, Siren (Mud-eel), Ambystoma, Triturus (newt), Tylototrition (crocodile newt).
Anura (Salientia). Without tail, e.g., Rana (Common frog), Rhacophorus, Bufo, Hyla, Alytes, Xenopus (African toad), Pipa.
Ichthyophis (Blind Worm):
It is limbless. Dermal scales are embedded in the skin. Male copulates with female by a protrusible cloaca and thus fertilization is internal. The female shows parental care by carefully coiling her body around the eggs till they hatch.
Necturus — Mud Puppy, Water Dog:
Eyes are without eye-lids. Tympanum is absent. There are three pairs of external gills. Tail bears caudal fin which is without fin rays. It is nocturnal.
The larva of Ambystoma (tiger salamander) is known as Axolotl. It has three pairs of external gills and a tail having a caudal fin. It exhibits the phenomenon of neoteny. When there is iodine deficiency in water, the Axolotl does not change into an adult, but remains in the larval form and becomes sexually mature to start sexual reproduction. Axolotl is found in mountain regions of Mexico.
Proteus (European Blind Cave Salamander):
The broad head has rudimentary eyes, so that it is blind. Three pairs of external gills, laterally flattened tail with a caudal fin and weak fore and hind limbs are present. Fore-limbs have three digits and hind limbs have two digits. Hind limbs are smaller than the fore limbs.
Salamandra (European spotted or fire salamander). The male discharges sperms in capsule called spermatophore which is picked up by the female with cloacal lip to fertilize her eggs (ova) internally. It is viviparous. Gills are absent in the adults. The trunk bears fore and hind limbs with four fingers and five toes respectively.
Triturus Verrucosus (formerly described as Tylototriton Verrucosus):
It is also called Himalayan newt because it lives in the Eastern Himalayas. In India, it is found in the Darjeeling Hills, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. Head is with rounded snout and a pair of parotoid glands. Arms and legs are equal in size. It is nocturnal, carnivorous and possesses very good power of regeneration. It hibernates in winter.
Pipa (The Surinam Toad):
It is famous for the unique method of parental care. The female Surinam toad carries the tadpoles in special pits on its back till tadpoles become toads.
Alytes (The Mid-Wife Toad):
Male shows parental care. The male mid-wife toad carries the eggs around his thighs and stays in damp places until tadpoles hatch to enter water.
Hyla Arborea (Tree Frog):
It is adapted for life in trees. Large vocal sacs help in making a very loud voice. Hyla faber shows parental care by making enclosures in shallows water on the border of the pond for protection.
Rhacophorus (Flying Frog):
The limbs are thin and long with well developed webs between the digits. It lives in trees and glides from tree to tree or from tree to the ground. It also exhibits parental care by depositing eggs in the nest near water.
Bufo Melanostictus (Indian Toad):
It inhabits on land in moist and dark shady places, such as the corners of gardens and under the leaves and stones, etc. It is a terrestrial and nocturnal animal.
The secretion of its skin glands contains bufonin and bufotalin, which probably have healing property. For breeding it goes to water where it lays eggs in strings. Since it bears poisonous glands (parotoid glands), it is not generally eaten by other animals like snakes, birds, etc.
Cicada Snacks: The Wild (and Tasty) Side of Brood X at the Zoo
They slumber underground for 16 summers, nestled near tree roots, sipping xylem — the nutrient-poor water inside tree tissues. Then, as ground temperatures rise on the 17th summer, they emerge and begin blindly burrowing their way toward the surface, bursting forth to a summer of song, flight and love.
It sounds like a spooky fairytale but in fact, it’s the actual true story of the 17-year Brood X cicadas and for some Zoo animals, the beginning of a tasty bug buffet.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia have cicadas every summer. Their song is the soundtrack to the region’s warmest days and sultriest nights. We rarely see those cicadas, though, because while they do sing, they are also camouflaged to blend into the trees. Their survival strategy is to hide to avoid being eaten.
Brood X cicadas take a different track. With flashy Tonka-truck colored wings and vivid scarlet eyes, they’re nothing if not showy. Their strategy, rather than hiding, is to exist in such vast numbers that enough survive to mate and lay eggs in new young tree stems. The larvae then hatch and fall to the ground looking for grass or any other plants that offer a place to hide before burrowing down to tree roots, ensuring the next Brood X generation emerges 16 years from now.
Three species of cicadas make up Brood X 17-year cicadas, all in the genus Magicicada. The genus name actually means “many”— a reference to their overwhelming numbers — but for entomologist and Amazonia exhibit keeper Donna Stockton at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, it might as well mean what it sounds like: magical.
“I could talk about cicadas all day,” Stockton enthuses. “The 17-year emergence is such an exciting time because it gives people a chance to learn about these amazing insects that otherwise they wouldn’t see, because the cicadas we have every year are camouflaged.”
Their coloring is striking, but what really sets the Brood X cicadas apart, aside from their sheer numbers, are their songs. Specifically, the volume of those songs.
“You think our annual cicadas are loud when you hear their little chirping, wait until you hear the 17-year cicadas,” Stockton said. “Their calls can get really loud — almost like an airplane flying over. Each species has its own call, but they’re all loud.”
People all over the Washington, D.C. region will be able to hear the cicadas, and some lucky, observant ones may also be able to spot the “chimneys” cicadas often build up from the ground. Similar to a crayfish turret, the chimneys are most visible on bare ground without too many leafy trees and can reach heights of up to a foot.
The cicadas crawl out of the ground as the ground temperatures reach 64 or 65 degrees Fahrenheit. They molt a number of times underground, shedding their exoskeletons as they grow larger. By the time they ascend their chimneys and emerge from the soil, they’re brown and crunchy nymphs. They molt one more time before they transform into their final winged stage. Then the males start singing to attract females and mate. The female cicadas lay eggs, and both parents die. Their life cycle is over for another 17 years.
Cicadas at the Zoo
Given that it has been 17 years since their last emergence, zoo keepers and scientists aren’t entirely sure what to expect from Brood X. Though, given the size of the Zoo and the number of trees on it, they’re expecting a fair showing of cicadas.
“There are stories from last time of keepers using shovels and brooms to sweep cicada larvae off Olmsted,” said Mike Maslanka, head of nutrition science, referring to the main pathway through the Zoo named for famous landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted. “Looking at the map, we do expect more of an impact at the Zoo in Washington, D.C., than out at the Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.”
When the cicadas emerge from the ground, they are typically as plump, soft and well-fed as they’re going to get, and a number of animals find them irresistible. Maslanka notes that all the bears — sloth bears, Andean bears, and the giant pandas — will likely be interested in the cicadas, along with the maned wolves and otters.
Sloth bears evolved to eat insects. The giant pandas and Andean bears, usually herbivores, are not likely to turn down such tasty plump larvae should they emerge in the panda yard. Maned wolves subsist mainly on small animals and insects, so they are likely to be thrilled by the smorgasbord erupting in their yards. And otters, especially the nimble-pawed Asian small-clawed otters, will delight in digging up and consuming the tasty treats.
The cicadas are safe for the Zoo animals to eat. The only concern Maslanka has is making sure that none of the animals eat too many of them. They know the cicadas are high in protein, but they are insects and, when in their winged form, they can be harder to digest than other, softer, foods. The nutritionists are discussing possibly collecting and freezing some of the larva to study or save for animal enrichment later.
You might think of ant larva e as just a stage in the development of an ant.
But nevertheless, parents should be inspecting the nostrils of their young ones, searching for sugar residue and burrowing larva e.
Jellyfish eat the eggs and larva e of other species higher on the food chain, as well as the plankton that those larva e would eat.
The sago palm weevil, a type of beetle, is eaten, roasted or raw, as a larva e in Southeast Asia.
The larva e produce parasitic worms that can enter the human body and take up residence for as long as 14 years.
The larva e of moths is a favorite fish food, and consequently successful bait.
No eggs are deposited until the foliage is well along usually, as this is the food of the larva e.
The larva e moult three times, and after each moulting appear yellow, soon changing to a black.
If I could at least identify the Scarabaeidae whose larva e form the prey of the two Scoliae, the problem would be half solved.
In the same heap of mould is a swarming colony of Scarabaeidae in the form of larva e, nymphs and adult insects.
Which caterpillars am I likely to see?
Many of these caterpillars are most obvious when they're fully grown and looking for a place to either pupate or settle down for the winter, though some are easily spotted on their favourite food plants. Here are some of the species we're most frequently asked to identify.
Drinker moth caterpillar ©Chris Lawrence
When & where: August-June. A variety of habitats including gardens, but especially damp grassland, marshes and boggy areas.
Description: Up to 7 cm long. Dark and covered with brown hairs and golden speckles. A row of white hairs runs down each side of the body.
Fox moth caterpillar ©David Longshaw
When & where: June-April, most obvious in spring. Common habitats include heathland and coastal grassland.
Description: Up to 7 cm long. Hairy, with long dark hairs on the sides of the body and shorter orange hairs on top. Young caterpillars are dark with orange bands.
Garden tiger caterpillar ©Amy Lewis
When & where: August-June. A wide range of habitats including gardens.
Description: Up to 6 cm long. An extremely hairy caterpillar, known as the "woolly bear". Mostly black and ginger, with longer white hairs.
Cinnabar moth caterpillar ©Andrew Hankinson
When & where: July-September. Found on ragwort in most grassy habitats.
Description: The caterpillars of this moth are distinctive, with black and yellow stripes - warning predators that they taste terrible. They're easily spotted feeding on ragwort.
Elephant hawk-moth caterpillar ©Dawn Monrose
When & where: June-September. A variety of habitats, including gardens. Often where rosebay willowherb is found.
Description: Up to 8.5 cm long. A chunky green or brown caterpillar, with several eyespots at the front end and a spiky 'tail' at the rear.
Privet hawk-moth caterpillar ©Roy Bedborough
Privet hawk-moth caterpillar
When & where: July to September. Widespread in southern England and Wales. Found in a variety of habitats, including gardens.
Description: Up to 8.5cm long. Green and chunky, with purple and white stripes on the body and a black and yellow horn on the rear.
Puss moth caterpillar ©Vaughn Matthews
Puss moth caterpillar
When & where: June to September. Widespread in a variety of habitats, including parks, gardens and wetlands.
Description: A plump, green caterpillar with a dark, white-edged 'saddle'. The head is surrounded by a pink patch, with false eyes making it look like a giant face. There are two thin tails.
Mullein moth caterpillar ©Chris Lawrence
When & where: April-July. A range of open habitats, including gardens. Feeds on mulleins and buddleia.
Description: Distinctive whitish caterpillars, with horizontal yellow splodges across the body and large black spots.
Yellow-tail moth caterpillar ©Chris Lawrence
When & where: August-June. Scrubby habitats including hedgerows, woodland and gardens.
Description: Black with long, greyish-white hairs. On top it has a pair of red lines, with a row of white blotches either side of them. A red line runs along each side. The hairs can be an irritant.
Brown-tail moth caterpillar ©Chris Lawrence
When & where: August-May. Scrubby habitats, including coastal scrub.
Description: Black with long brown hairs, red spots on top and a line of white marks along each side. Found in conspicuous communal webs on food plants. The hairs cause skin irritation. (Younger caterpillar pictured)
Peacock caterpillars ©Vaughn Matthews
When & where: May-July. Common in a range of habitats where common nettle is present.
Description: Up to 4.5 cm. Black with black spines and small white dots. Found in communal webs on common nettles.
Vapourer moth caterpillar ©Tom Hibbert
When & where: May-September. Commonly found in a variety of habitats including woodland, parks and gardens.
Description: A funky-looking grey and black caterpillar, with large tufts of hair, including a mohawk of yellow tufts on the back. Large caterpillars can often be spotted in late summer on a range of shrubs and trees.
Pale tussock caterpillar ©Lizzie Wilberforce
When & where: June-October. Found on a wide variety of deciduous trees and other plants, including bramble.
Description: A striking bright green caterpillar, with black bands between its body segments, yellow/whitish hairs, a row of yellow tufts on top and a red tuft at the rear.
Animal identification (larva) - Biology
Tunicates, commonly called sea squirts, are a group of marine animals that spend most of their lives attached to docks, rocks or the undersides of boats. To most people they look like small, colored blobs. It often comes as a surprise to learn that they are actually more closely related to vertebrates like ourselves than to most other invertebrate animals.
Tunicates are part of the phylum Urochordata, closely related to the phylum Chordata that includes all vertebrates. Because of these close ties, many scientists are working hard to learn about their biochemistry, their developmental biology, and their genetic relationship to other invertebrate and vertebrate animals.
|A tunicate is built like a barrel. The name, "tunicate" comes from the firm, but flexible body covering, called a tunic . Most tunicates live with the posterior, or lower end of the barrel attached firmly to a fixed object, and have two openings, or siphons , projecting from the other. Tunicates are plankton feeders. They live by drawing seawater through their bodies. Water enters the oral siphon, passes through a sieve-like structure, the branchial basket that traps food particles and oxygen, and is expelled through the atrial siphon .|
|The tail also has a semi-rigid rod called a notochord , which can be compared to the spine of true vertebrates.|
Tunicate tadpoles mature extremely quickly, in a matter of just a few hours. Since the tadpoles do not feed at this stage of their lives, they have no mouths. Their sole job is to find a suitable place to live out their lives as adults. When ready to settle, a sticky secretion helps them attach head first to the spot they have chosen. They then reabsorb all the structures within their tail and recycle them to build new structures needed for their adult way of life.
Still other members of this group never attach to objects, but live out their entire lives as planktonic drifters. These include thaliaceans , strange gelatinous animals that use their siphons to jet-propel themselves gently through the water. The two photos immediately below were taken of the same animal. Pyrosoma atlanticum. The the image on the left was filmed with artificial light, while the one on the right shows the light, or bioluminescence, produced by the animal itself.
Another planktonic group of Urocordates includes the larvaceans . These animals live inside intricate mucous "houses" and retain their larval tail throughout their lives. This tail drives a gentle current of water through the house, propelling the organism through the water. The photograph below shows the organism, Oikopleura vanhoeffeni , inside its house, creating a current by movements of its tail.
Acknowledgements to Dr. Euichi Hirose of University of Ruykyus, Japan, and to Dr. Alexander Bochdansky, Queens University, Canada, for the above pictures of thaliacean and larvacean Urochordates .
How will we recognize the non-native tunicate species, Ciona savignyi when it appears ? What do we know about this species? For more information, go to C. savignyi.
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The adult screwworm is a dark, shiny, bluish-green fly about 10 mm (0.4 in) long. It has a reddish-yellow face and three black stripes on its upper thorax between the wings. The fly lays eggs on the skin of the animal host near open wounds such as barbed-wire cuts, scratches from thorns or from fighting, sore eyes, or injuries from brand marks, dehorning, or castration. The egg masses look like fish scales. The larvae, called maggots, hatch within a day and use their hooklike mouthparts to tear into the flesh. The maggots initially feed in the wounds but then invade healthy tissue. Screwworm maggots have toxic saliva, which promotes infection of wounds and production of foul-smelling pus. This attracts other species of flies that normally feed only on dead animals. The host animal becomes sick, stops eating, and dies unless treated.
Mature screwworm larvae are tapered and about 17 mm (0.67 in) long. Swollen ridges encircle each segment of the body, so the larvae look somewhat like screws. Flies undergo a process of development called complete metamorphosis. The screwworm larvae mature about 4 to 10 days after hatching, then drop from the host's wounds to the soil. The larvae pupate in soil for about 3 to 14 days before emerging as adults. Development from egg to adult takes about three weeks during summer. This pest has about 8 to 10 generations a year, so the presence of even a few flies in spring can lead to severe infestations by fall.
The screwworm was only a minor pest through colonial times. As farms and ranches grew in the warmer parts of the western United States and Mexico, the fly increasingly infested cows. The modern cattle industry provided many thousands of cows as potential hosts for the fly and transported cattle hundreds of miles as part of commerce. In addition, the screwworm fly can travel on its own up to 290 km (180 mi) in several days and can complete a life cycle in as little time as three weeks. These factors helped the fly population increase and its range spread to become a major pest of cattle. Problems with screwworm in cattle were reported as early as 1825 in the United States. The problem culminated in a serious outbreak in the southern United States beginning in 1932. By 1934, this outbreak had resulted in over 1.3 million cases of infestation and the death of over 200,000 animals.
Screwworms are no longer a serious threat and have been largely eradicated from North and Central America due to the success of an ingenious pest control program. The program utilizes a technique called sterile male release. Sterile male screwworms are released into the wild in numbers so great that fertile males rarely get a chance to mate with females. As a result, the female flies lay only infertile eggs that do not survive. During 1959, about two billion male screwworm flies sterilized by gamma-irradiation were released during an 18-month period in an area of about 181,000 sq km (69,900 sq mi) in Florida. The screwworm was quickly eradicated from that state. A similar program was initiated in the southwestern states in 1962 and later along the Texas-Mexico border. These efforts involved the release of as many as one billion sterile male flies every year. The screwworm was declared eradicated in the United States by 1966 it is estimated that the program has saved the United States economy up to $400 million annually.
In 1972 a screwworm eradication program was initiated in Mexico. Producing and releasing up to 500 million sterile male flies weekly, the program was declared a success in 1991. Similar efforts in Central American countries have continued to push the eradication line southward. Currently, only Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama have viable wild screwworm populations eradication programs have been established to eliminate screwworms north of Colombia and to maintain a sterile fly barrier in eastern Panama to prevent reinfestation.
Scientific classification: The screwworm belongs to the blow fly family, Calliphoridae. It is classified as Cochliomyia hominivorax.
Internet Center for Wildlife Damage ManagementTim Julien teaches attendees the finer points of setting the Collarum Trap
The Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management (ICWDM) provides science-based information on how to manage wildlife damage and resolve human-wildlife conflicts responsibly.
What Is Wildlife Damage Management (WDM)?
Wildlife damage management is an activity that tries to balance the needs of humans with the needs of wildlife, to the enhancement of both.
Sometimes the solution to an animal-human conflict requires the human to change his or her behavior. Other times, the solution is to change the animal’s behavior. Various tools and strategies are used to reduce human-animal conflict, such as behavior modification, repellents, exclusion, habitat modification, relocation, lethal control, etc.
Wildlife damage management is a diverse and complex field. The goal of this site is to help you discover the best way to manage your wildlife-human conflict for the betterment of both.