Eye-Catching Bioluminescent Wonders - Glow Worm (Phengodidae) [LiveScience 2011-07-08]
Credit: Arwin Provonsha | entm.purdue.edu
Glow worms are actually just fireflies (Lampyridae) in their larvae stage. Yes, fireflies glow even when they are just tiny, wingless larvae, radiating a single, unwavering green light on their foreheads. This pale green light serves as a warning to predators, since firefly larvae contain chemicals that are distasteful or toxic to animals and humans. The larvae of the glow worm beetle, or Phengodidae beetle, are also known as glow worms. The trunks of the females and larvae of these beetles have bioluminescent organs that emit yellow or green light. In the dark, these glow worms glow in a fascinating stripped pattern.