Larvae of the blackfly Simulium noelleri Friederichs aggregate at high populatio n densities on dams and spillways at the outlet of ponds. When displaced into the water column from their point of attachment, larvae can secrete silk threads as "life-lines" which enable them to maintain a link to the substratum an d up which they can climb to regain their original position. Experiments were conducted in a laboratory pond outlet to investigate this use of silk threads, larvae being displaced by means of forceps. It was demonstrated that: (i) the length of thread produced , and the speed of climbing the thread are independent of larval size; (ii) within limits, the speed of climbing was independent of both the length of the thread and the time already spent climbing, and (iii) speed of climb became more rapid as larvae neared the point of attachment. The range of locomotion in blackfly larvae is then discussed.