Glowworm (Arachnocampa luminosa)

Glowworm is the common name for various groups of insect larvae and adult larviform females that glow through bioluminescence. They may sometimes resemble worms, but all are insects (Arachnocampa and Orfelia being flies and all the others being beetles).

The glow in the former two groups is a yellow-green color.The so-called railroad worms in the Phengodidae family have an additional red light at their head. The fly larvae produce a blue-green colour. The glow is produced by different organs in the different families, suggesting they evolved separately, though several other beetle families in the superfamily Cantharoidea also exhibit bioluminescence, suggesting a single origin within this lineage and hence that the Lampyrids and Phengodids share a bioluminescent ancestor. The chemical reaction in each case is very efficient; nearly 100% of the energy input is turned into light (compared to the best light-emitting diodes at just 22%).

Glow worms are omnivorous animals but they tend to have a very meat-based diet. Glow worms predominantly prey on snails and slugs which make up the majority of the glow worm’s diet. Glow worms also prey on other insects and small invertebrates.

Due to their small size and the fact that they glow in the darkness, glow worms have numerous natural predators within their environment including spiders, large insects, birds, reptiles and centipedes.

Typically, the female glow worms lays between 50 and 100 eggs in moist areas, over a period of a few days. The tiny glow worm eggs are yellow in colour and can take between 3 and 6 weeks to hatch depending on the climate (the warmer it is, the faster the glow worm eggs will hatch).

Advertisements

Let The VALiens know what you think about!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s