‘Alien worms’ working together are fungus gnat larvae

Fungus gnat larvae in a column
Fungus gnat larvae in a column. Screenshot.

There is a grisly video on the Internet described as: “Bizarre ‘alien worms’ forms wriggling mass in Thailand”. They are, in fact, fungus gnat larvae joined together working as a team; quite impressive actually but horrible to look at. I’m going to speculate and say that they travel together for protection while they move to a safe place where they can turn themselves into gnats. If they go in a circle (as seen in one of the videos below) it is because the leading larvae hooks up with the larvae at the end of the column and follows it. This is a mistake. The intention, as I understand it, is to go to a place which is safe where they can evolve into gnats as part of their life-cycle. They feed on the roots and lower stem tissues of plants. In the second video they are going towards soil and plants where they can feed and develop. They are considered to be major pests and can cause severe damage to houseplants and commercial crops. They stunt the growth of plants. The adults and larvae spread plant pathogens which can cause root rot, damping off, wire stem diseases and collar rot. An unpleasant creature. It seems to me that the fungus gnat larvae in Thailand are bigger than those in the UK. This doesn’t surprise me because the environmental conditions are probably better in Thailand as these creatures like damp and humid conditions.


 

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Post Category: Insects