A mysterious glowing worm has been discovered lighting up the soil in the Peruvian rainforest.
The glow worms use phosphorescence to bait ants or termites into their mouths, according to Live Science. Flies will “fly right into their jaws, and then they’ll just clamp shut and that’s their meal,” said entomologist Aaron Pomerantz, who works at the Refugio Amazonas near the Tambopata Research Center in Peru, where the larvae were discovered.
“They’re underground, and they burst from the earth,” Pomerantz told Live Science.
Nature photographer Jeff Cremer discovered the glow worms when he saw tiny, glowing, green dots under some earth while he was working in the Peruvian jungle, according to Live Science. Cremer took a closer look and saw tiny, lighted insects about half an inch big.
Entomologists at a nearby nature lodge decided the larvae belong to an unknown species of click beetle. There are over 10,000 species of click beetles – 200 of them give off light.
Researchers are contacting experts in Brazil to determine if the beetle larvae belong to its own species or if they are a sub-species of an already known type of beetle, Pomerantz said, according to Live Science.