IUBio

Help ID Worm (?)

Marcus Schmidt m.schmidt at chargaff.s-link.de
Wed Jul 3 19:00:00 EST 1996


User truemonk at csulb.edu (David Yi)
wrote on 02 Jul 96
in post 4rbp40$i2n at hatathli.csulb.edu
titled "Help ID Worm (?)":

>Dear Microbiologists:

IMHO zoology/etymology would have been more appropriate...

[...]

>           it looked like a segmented seed or a light orange colored
>larva of some kind, but it had two bright strips of glowing green one
>one end.

Most likely a firefly...

>          Has anyone seen anything like this before? Why, from the
>point of evolution, would a larva be luminescent? Wouldn't it be
>dangerous? Are things like this common? Have I in fact found something
>new?

Firefly females have a flightless imago stage, looking similar to a  
larva. The males (also luminescent) are, on the other hand, winged. By  
switching their activity to the night they evade most "insecticide"  
predators except for those with night activity. These however are  
mainly bats, which use their echolot hearing for prey perception. Thus  
the luminescence is without selection importance, but still helps  
males and females in finding each other.


Cheers
        Marcus



  ________________________

m.schmidt at chargaff.s-link.de
 (msm at gbf-braunschweig.de)



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