Mysterious Glowing Worm discovered in Peruvian Rainforest

Mysterious Glowing Worm discovered in Peruvian Rainforest

A mysterious glowing worm lighting up the soil has been recently discovered in the Peruvian rainforest. It is believed that the strange glow worms make use of their phosphorescence to attract unsuspecting flies and ants so that they land themselves into their jaws and become their feast.

It is such an incredible natural ability that does not require any hard work, simply luring ants or termites to fly into their jaws, said Aaron Pomerantz, an entomologist who works with a rainforest expedition company at the Refugio Amazonas near the Tambopata Research Center in Peru. The strange glow worms are thought to be the larval stage of an as-yet-unidentified species of beetle.

Nature photographer Jeff Cremer was working at a lodge in the Peruvian jungle when he spotted the tiny pinpricks of light glowing in a wall of earth. Driven by his curiosity, he decided to go closer, thereby discovering several dozen of these tiny insects, measuring about 0.5 inches, shinning green in light.

Cremer informed entomologists at the rainforest nature lodge about the strange creature, which was also unknown to them.

The team reached at the conclusion that the worms actually were the larvae of an unknown species of click beetle. These beetles come from the family of Elateridae and make use of a fast propping or clicking motion to escape predators.

More than 10,000 species of click beetles exist on earth and 200 of them are bioluminescent, which means they give off light. Researchers have not denied the possibility of the little creatures being the cousins of Brazilian fire beetles and belonging to the group of bugs called Pyrophorinim.

Researchers are now endeavoring to figure out how the newly discovered insects produce light. Similar creatures are known to produce yellow light by using a class of molecules known as luciferins.