A woman from Maine films a ‘disgusting,’ writhing mass of larvae on her lawn.


A woman from Maine films a ‘disgusting,’ writhing mass of larvae on her lawn.

A woman in Maine discovered a snake-like creature in her yard, which turned out to be a writhing mass of fungus gnat larvae.

On Tuesday, Denise Bechtel noticed what appeared to be a single creature on her yard in Litchfield. It was roughly 6 inches long and between a quarter and a half inch wide, according to her.

“I didn’t have my glasses on when I initially saw it, so I thought it was a gigantic slug,” she told This website.

To see if anyone could explain what the “slug” was, Bechtel posted a video of it to the Maine Wildlife Facebook page, which she said was populated by knowledgeable naturalists.

“Disgusting yet honestly a bit mesmerizing,” she said beneath the video in a comment.

She quickly realized what she had seen was a swarm of larvae.

“After reading about the larvae, I dismantled the group to see what would happen, and they were very disorganized and couldn’t seem to find each other in a little space 6 to 8 inches in diameter,” she explained.

“They were gone when I went to the location a few hours later. I’m not sure if they made it or if they were devoured by the various birds that live here.

“I’d never seen anything like it before, and I’ve subsequently learned that sightings like this are quite rare.”

According to the local newspaper Bangor Daily News, the mass is a sciarid snake, which can be made up of hundreds or thousands of fungus gnat larvae.

Fungus gnats are flying insects that resemble mosquitos in appearance. Their transparent black-headed larvae grow up to a quarter of an inch long. The larvae crawl over each other while the sciarid snake moves.

“It’s their means of moving from point A to point B to establish up new housekeeping,” Jim Dill, a pest control specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, told the Daily News. I’ve never seen one, but it’s certainly an intriguing phenomenon.

“Some claim they are imitating larger animals such as snakes in order to avoid being eaten by predators. But I’m not sure fungus gnats are that intelligent.”

He went on to say that army ants and army worms can travel in the same way.

“The gnat,” says the narrator. This is a condensed version of the information.


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