image credit: John Tyler/Galaxy

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Habitat: New Zealand & Australian Caves (string glowworms)
Europe (common glowworm)

Ok so let me explain. What I’m showing you here are two separate families, Lampyridaw and Arachnocampa, respectively. Both are types of “Glow Worms” except the Lampyridaw are beetles and the Arachnocampa are flies.So the top picture is a female Common Glow worm (Lampyridaw). Only the females are able to glow, which they do in order to attract a mate. At dusk they point their bottoms to the sky and get their glow on. Males can see the light up to 50 yards away!

The next two pictures show the larval stage of a type of gnat. Only in the larval stage are the gnats able to glow. The crafty larva will spin a nest of silk on the roof of the cave and then hang down as many as 70 threads of silk (called snares) from around the nest, each up to 30 or 40 cm long and holding droplets of mucus. The larva glows to attract prey into its threads, in an effort to trick them into believing they are outdoors, for the roof of a cave covered with larva can look remarkably like a starry sky at night!

Oh and get this: Hungry larva glow brighter than ones that have just eaten so you can always tell who’s really starving.

The caves have become quite the tourist attraction for people in New Zealand and Australia & I know that when and if I ever get to visit the caves will be my first stop!

You MUST watch this BBC clip, it’s just unreal!