We found a predatory glow worm in the peruvian amazon and want to make
an info graphic to show the world.
This is the information that we have now:
- Glowing bioluminescent larvae
- Several dozen individuals found clustered in dirt wall in Tambopata
- Little is known about the glowing behavior in these larvae
- Glowing could lure in prey (eats ants?)
- Predatory (readily attacked stick and ants presented as prey)
- Mandibles outstretched for catching and crushing small arthropods
- Likely belong to family Elateridae (click beetles) but we don't
- Semi-translucent body allows us to see the bioluminescent glands
and digestive system
-The taxonomic classification would likely be: Insecta (class):
Coleoptera (order): Elateridae (family): Pyrophorini?
Some 26 species of _Pyrophorus_ are found from southern Mexico to
southeastern Brazil and the West Indies.
- Their bioluminescence is similar to that of another group of
the fireflies, although click beetles do not flash, but remain
constantly glowing (though they can control the intensity; for
example, they become brighter when touched by a potential predator).
- Adults of most of the tribe of Pyrophorini are bioluminescent, but
save for a very few species, this behavior in larvae is not well
reported. Eggs of elaterids are typically laid in clusters and our
larvae appear to be early instar specimens, possibly even late
first instars. The phenomenon of the entire body glowing through a
transluscent integument is only known for the younger larvae.
-The larvae appear to be only ~0.5 inches in length
-FIREFLY LUCIFERIN is the luciferin, or light-emitting compound,
in many firefly (Lampyridae) species. It is the substrate of
luciferase, which is responsible for the characteristic yellow light
emission from many firefly species.
- Note - we are dealing with click
beetles so they may use a different chemical compound to emit light.
If we are going to mention or show an image of luciferin, it is
important to note that this or a related chemical might also be used
by click beetles, but we are not sure at this moment.