En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - January 14, 2010

From: Goldsboro, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany, Pests
Title: Identification of strange tiny creature in plant water
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a house plant rooted in water. I has been for over a year and the plant seems healthy, I change the water often and keep it clean. I now have noticed that something is growing it. A fish type of creature. I cannot find anyone who can explain this. It swims almost bending in half. It is no bigger then a tiny finger nail, but seems to have grown a fish like tail! I am baffled!

ANSWER:

Your strange creature sounds to me like the larva and perhaps pupa of one of the mosquitoes.  A female mosquito could easily lay eggs in your plant container's water without you noticing her doing so or noticing the eggs once they were there.  Here's another link to the mosquito's life cycle.  You can also watch this short YouTube video of the Culex mosquito's life cycle and see how the larvae and pupae move in the water.

 

 

More Pests Questions

Lily plants being chewed from Austin
June 20, 2013 - Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?
view the full question and answer

Lake Plantings and Geese
May 10, 2013 - I live on a small lake in Wichita, KS and we are over run with Canada geese. I would like to plant flowers around my patio (which is not allowed to be fenced off). Are there any flowers or plants that...
view the full question and answer

Snail and slug management in Austin
May 27, 2007 - How can you get rid of large snails in the Austin, TX garden?
view the full question and answer

Something eating Monarda didyma in Washington DC
June 30, 2011 - Please Help, I have a couple of Bee Balm, Jacob Cline, plants, whose leave are being eaten, by what I do not know. None of the nurseries around here seem to have ever heard of this happening to this p...
view the full question and answer

White ash trees with bunched up leaves from Nevada TX
June 09, 2012 - I have very young white ash trees (3' tall planted this winter) The leaves are crippled not opening up bunched up together and have a white powder. Is this aphids mites or what. Only on one tree. Th...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center