Remarkable!

Glowing Cockroach Mimics Toxic Beetle. The cockroach species Luchihormetica luckae emits a green glow. A glowing green cockroach would seem much easier to kill than our more familiar kitchen pests, but this particular insect evolved its own set of lights to avoid exactly such predatory attention, according to a new study.

Luchihormetica luckae glows to mimic the bioluminescent click beetle, whose glow warns predators of its toxicity.Found in rain forests around an active volcano in Ecuador, the inch-long (2.5-centimeter-long) cockroach is unique for a few reasons, scientists say. For one thing, while many life-forms have evolved their own flashiness, most are found in the deep-sea—making bioluminescence a relatively rare trait on land. But L. luckae is particularly rare, in that it glows to mimic another insect. Other uses of bioluminescence in the insect world, as in the case of the common firefly, are more attuned to attracting mates—lighting up to find love in the dark simply saves time. Unfortunately, it also makes one much more visible to predators. “Bioluminescence is like any evolutionary tool—there is no single use for it. It can attract, deter, or even be used as an invisibility cloak of sorts,” said Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist and author of Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation.
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One comment on “Remarkable!

  1. utesmile says:

    I have nominated you for an award, check it out here http://utesmile.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/i-am-speechless/
    Love your blog! Hugs x

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