Mystery Myrmecophile


I photographed this weird...sluggy thing, I guess you could say, in an ant nest in subtropical Argentina. 

Ten points to the first person who picks what it is.

More like this

I know, I know! ;)

This strange creature is a fly larva, one of the many species of a hoverfly subfamily Microdontinae. As far as I know, larvae of all hitherto described species are myrmecophilous.

They are so bizzare, they have been described as mollusks on four different occasions (!).

They are brood predators in ant nests.

Syrphids as obligate nest parasites? How cool is that!

Duh. It's clearly a tiny, one-limbed turtle.

Yes, I agree, it is clearly a Microdontini... wonderful picture! Very interesting biology...

Sure looks syrphid-microdontine to me, too. And with a Linepithema, cool! I thought these flies always "liked" formicines.

(PS - Gary Alpert will want to see your pictures of this one.)

By James C. Trager (not verified) on 21 May 2009 #permalink

ÐаÑеÑÑво дÑÑзей Ñоже надо ÑÑиÑÑваÑÑ. ÐоналÑд ТÑамп, напÑимеÑ, на двадÑаÑÐºÑ Ð¿Ð¾ÑÑнеÑ.

Wow, I clearly have a bright bunch of commentators!

Translation of the above from Russian?

"It's necessary to take into account the quality of friends. Donald Trump, for example, will reach twenty." Huh? (I'll ask Lena Nikolyevna at next Tuesday's lesson...) XXXMom

With my extremely rusty Russian, I suspected that containing the words Donald Trump, or as it is written in the comment "Donalyd Tramp", this is spam of some sort.

By James C. Trager (not verified) on 22 May 2009 #permalink

Yeah, the Russian is spam, it seems:

"The quality of friends must also be taken into account. Donald Trump, for example, would reach 20" whatever the fuck that means...fluency in the language is useless there...