PLEASE HELP, WHAT IS IT? I FOUND IT AT HOME .. #737619 - Ask Extension



Asked February 01, 2021, 12:54 AM EST

please help. At home I have a terrarium - succulents (aloe vera, cactus and my own tongue) and today I transplanted plants and found in the soil of this worm, or larva, or whatever it is. I think if there was one, there would be more. What is it? Is it a pest? I don't know, I'm looking for google and I'm desperate for it, I can't find out what it is.
I water the succulents once every 10 days, so it has little water.
Thank you for every answer, you will help me a lot

Delta County Outside United States

Expert Response

In order to try to identify the insect, please tell me where you live; the city and country.

Other facts which will be helpful to include these:
- Size (length and width) of the insect?
- Is it as red as it appears?
- Has the plant been outdoors? If yes, how long ago?
- Have you seen any damage? Perhaps small bites or holes?

Also, please send an image or two of the plants in the terrarium.

More than likely, this insect is one of a kind. And, if there were more, the disruption of the planting mix during transplanting damaged, or killed, any others that may have been present.

I look forward to receiving your responses.

Jean R. Natter Replied February 01, 2021, 1:29 AM EST

country Slovakia, and I live in a house in the city.

insects: size approx .: length 1cm, width 2mm
color: red-pink
the plants were not outside, they are only at the bottom.
I did not see any damage, I have a terrarium for about 1 month.
The land is for succulents from trade.
I am sending a photo of the terrarium in the attachment.

Thank you very much for your reply
The Question Asker Replied February 01, 2021, 7:41 AM EST
Thank you for sending the extra information and the image. The terrarium appears to be doing well.

I doubt if any more insects are in the planting. But, because I'm not an insect specialist, I want to consult with the university entomologist. One of us will return with information.
Jean R. Natter Replied February 01, 2021, 11:58 AM EST
The entomologist basically agrees with what I already said.

He wrote:
It "looks like a beetle larva. I can rule out plant-damaging types in the families Curculionidae (weevils) and Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles) because their larvae look different. It might be a type of rove beetle larva (family: Staphylinidae), but I can't tell for sure without looking at specimens in person under my scope. Rove beetles are typically predators of other insects, so they wouldn't be damaging to the plants.

"I agree, though, that the terrarium looks to be in good shape, so there are probably few or no pests.

"If the client wants to know more about that larva, he or she would probably have the most luck if they consulted a local expert."

In other words, all is well. Hope this helps.

Jean R. Natter Replied February 01, 2021, 2:58 PM EST
Dear Jean,

Thank you very much for the valuable information you provided me. They are very useful to me and they calmed me down, I was very irritated and scared. Thanks to you and your dear colleague, I know which way to look. In the second forum, they advised me that it could be Family: Melyridae, so I read about both.

I believe that the plants will be fine and that there will be no beetles at home - I prefer the beetle to stay outside and not climb into my house. When the beetles are outside, I like them, but as soon as they are at my house, I rage, especially when I don't know them and I don't know what to expect from them. If they are beetles - predators and feed on other insects, maybe I would keep one, because now that it's starting to warm up, the flies are starting to fly around the fruit and maybe we could help each other with the beetle.

Dear Jean, thank you very much, please give your dear colleague a big thank you for me, you helped me a lot, I am very happy that we have such good and helpful experts among us.

Thank you very much,
The Question Asker Replied February 01, 2021, 5:14 PM EST

It appears that the other group you consulted with is correct. Certainly matches images of some Melyridae larvae (youngsters).  They're predators which help gardeners limit small pest insects.

Take care and enjoy your plants.

Jean R. Natter Replied February 01, 2021, 6:20 PM EST

Loading ...