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Tiny black worms or larva

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mare460 photos
Joined: 6/15/2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1368
Posted: Aug/10/2008 8:49 AM PST

The picture isn't any good but the black is about 100 little black worms or larva on my sunflower plant. Also a pic of ants on a leaf. Why do ants like sunflowers and do they lay the larva or is it something different? Also had a couple of yellow larva on them.

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ga_girl photos
Joined: 8/02/2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1335
Posted: Aug/10/2008 11:59 AM PST

The little worms are probably caterpillars of some butterfly or moth. The adult lays the eggs on the plant and the babies hatch and start eating. This is how butterflies and moths reproduce - the mother finds the right plant (not just any plant, it has to be the one which is the host plant for her babies) and lays eggs. The larvae hatch, eat, leave to go make a cocoon somewhere, then after a few days they hatch into adults. The plant is not harmed in the process although humans don't always appreciate the fact that the leaves got eaten.

Ants are usually attracted to some sweet residue left by another bug (like aphids).
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