'Strange' larvae found on clothing in Vietnam belong to hoverflies

TN News

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Vietnamese experts on Friday said the mysterious worm-like creatures found earlier on clothing in the south central province of Phu Yen are hoverfly larvae.

The statement from the Institute of Ecological Resources in Hanoi said the larvae that appeared and grew on a suit made in China and bought in a local market belonged to two species of the hoverfly (Syrphidae) family, also known as flower flies or syrphid flies.

Le Xuan Canh, head of the institute, said the larvae do not pose big health risks to human.

Canh said his institute needs to study any larvae still living in the woman's neighborhood in order to find out how the insect eggs ended up in the seams of her suit. But the woman had buried all the larvae except for some samples which were taken by local officials for testing.

The samples were sent to Canh's institute by the Institute of Malaria, Insects and Parasites in Phu Yen's capital town of Quy Nhon, after the latter could not identify the larvae, calling them "strange" and unlike any insect or parasite species of which they were aware.

Phu Yen market managers earlier said that based on its bar code, they determined that the suit, bought for VND115,000 (US$5.52), was made in China, but there was nothing indicating by whom, or where precisely. 

Ngo Thi Kim Oanh who bought the suit said when she brought it home and washed it, the creatures seemed to appear out of nowhere, and crawled onto her hands.

She said she suspected that the creatures had been dried and pressed along the seams.

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She said there were thousands of them and they grew fast in the water with detergent, from as thin as a thread to the size of a chopstick head overnight. They also laid eggs.

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