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Bioluminescent Larva From Peru Remains Nameless

Nature has been endowed with countless species of plants and animals that delight the eyes of man (and, sometimes, creep the hell out of us!). A glowing insect larva has recently been found that has remained mysterious ever since. It is thought that its bioluminescent property enables it to catch its preys. It is still unknown as to which species does it belong to.

Small Glow Worm (1)

Photo credits: Jeff Cremer

The newly discovered larvae from the Amazon rainforest of Peru, which is thought to belong to the beetle family Elateridae, has an extraordinary feature that allows it to capture its preys: it has been endowed with the property of bioluminescence.

Couple of years later after its discovery made by photographer Jeff Cremer, it still remains elusive: a species name has not been put to the glowing larva. Cremer noticed the animals on the face of a dirt wall. He saw them as small green light dots. On approaching, he saw the heads of the larvae. He immediately took pictures of them to show to the world.

Following the discovery, entomologists went to check out the insect larvae. They recorded the presence of large mandibles. They also provided an explanation for their most conspicuous characteristic, their bioluminescence. According to the insect experts, the larvae glow to attract preys so that they can easily capture them.

The scientists tested their hypothesis by drawing near to them an ant by the help of a stick. When the ant was close enough to the larva, it tried to pull it into its hole. The observation of this interaction showed the use of the large mandibles in preying on others.

Around 200 of species of the family Elateridae glow like these larvae. Finding the one to which it belongs has not proved to be an easy task.


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