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Bioluminescent Insects: Nature’s Nightlights


It is true that most insects in the environment are often times a menace in people’s lives, which is why some of them have resulted into pest control methods that they try out in order to get rid of the problem.

However, there some cases when people find it hard to get rid of them and it is not because they do not have the abilities but rather because they are just too pretty to look at. Find out more about these bioluminescent critters by reading some facts below.



Motyxia is a luminous toxic millipede. Only a handful of these creatures can be found in over 12,000 known millipede species in the world. They are bioluminescent and are usually located in California’s mountainous region.

These millipedes are known to only come out during nightfall after they burrow themselves under the soil when the morning sun is up in the sky. The glow you would see emitting from their exoskeleton is a threat to their predators for they can launch toxic cyanide coming from the pores in their bodies.


Snapping Beetles

Elateridae which is also being called as click beetles or snapping beetles is a close family to the fireflies. These insects are known for the clicking sound they emit whenever they propel across the air. They are commonly seen on the tropical side of the Western hemisphere.

These beetles can produce a constant light in various colors like green and orange. Their headlights, which are located below their abdomen, can intensely glow so much so that you will be able to see them from more than 100 feet away.


Luminescent Earthworms

Luminescent earthworm is a glowing worm that is very different from what you are used to that they may as well have come from another planet, though you can be assured that they also live here in Earth, as most of them are actually  sited in South America.

About 33 species of earthworms are bioluminescent because of a special type of mucus they possess. According to scientists, the coelomic fluid (or mucus) that is found in these worms is rare and special.


Arachnocampa Luminosa

Arachnocampa Luminosa is the scientific term for the glittering glowworms that are frequently found in the damp and dark areas of New Zealand. Waitomo Caves in this country have become a tourist spot because of the starry spectacle it presents.

These glowworms are also called as fungus gnats and are about as small as a matchstick. However, do not fall prey for its small and beautiful appearance for it devises a rather devious tactic that is sure to ensnare its enemies. They glow quite brightly but the reason for that is because they are hungry!



Fireflies are not actually flies but rather a part of the beetles’ family. The light flashes you see coming from their body is actually how they are able to communicate with each other. The colors they can emit changes from red, green, and yellow.

These enchanted organisms are perhaps the most popular and most widely studied bioluminescent insect out of everyone in this list.


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