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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.

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

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Thursday - September 09, 2010

From: lenzburg, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Pests
Title: Larvae swimming in water with plant cutting
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

When you take a cutting from a plant and put it in water and bring it in your home a couple of days later you notice larvae swimming around, what is that?

ANSWER:

If the larvae are swimming around, you can pretty well guess that they are aquatic larvae of some sort or they would have drowned pretty quickly.  If you didn't get the water from a pond or some outside container source, the larvae had to be from eggs that were on the plant or deposited in the water after you put the plant in it.  My best guess would be that there was a female mosquito of some sort in your house that deposited her eggs in the water.  Here are photos of mosquito larvae and here is a short video to show how they move.  Here are some images of other aquatic insect larvae in case the ones you have don't look like mosquito larvae.  If the water you put with your plant came from a pond or an outdoor container, then the larvae could be any of these.

 

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