A Peruvian glow worm is slinking its way across Web headlines today, and while this small worm may only be ½ an inch in overall size, it packs a real punch. The tiny animal is said to catch its prey — often termites or ants — with its large jaws and quite literally bursts from the earth in order to eat. The tiny creature also apparently has the ability to attract other insects to it using bioluminescence. Discovery News shares all the interesting details on this newly discovered creepy-crawly this Thursday, November 20, 2014.
It has been called strange and mysterious, but the Peruvian glow worm is anything but ordinary. Measuring in at little more than ½ in size, this is not a big animal, certainly. But just as if it were from a horror novel or movie, the luminescent bug attacks in a frightening manner — the worm heaves itself out of the ground when it senses prey and devours it with its unusually large jaws (at least in relation to its body size).
This potentially new species of glow worm was recently found in the Peruvian rain forest, and the unearthing has bug experts everywhere in quite a tizzy. The glowing creatures are still being actively studied, but they are thought to use the ability of bioluminescence to draw other bugs close. Once they have lured their prey in with light, the glow worm can then simply open its wide jaws and feast on its meal.
According to updated coverage from News Max, Aaron Pomerantz — a well-known entomologist who has been conducting research in Peru throughout the rainforest — likens this ability to insects being drawn to lights and lamps. The Peruvian glow worm also has a frightening skill in burrowing under the ground and then “bursting” from the earth to eat any unwary termite or ant that is passing by.
“[These insects] fly right into their jaws, and then they’ll just clamp shut and that’s their meal,” Pomerantz revealed in a blog post. “Sometimes, they’re underground, and they burst from the earth.”
Not everything is known about the Peruvian glow worm just yet, but it’s a little fella that has understandably attracted a lot of attention this month. Entomologists think the largest they can grow is a single inch, while most of the animals are little more than ½ an inch long. The creepy-crawlies were originally discovered by a nature photographer out exploring the southern rainforest by the name of Jeff Cremer. Now, these little worms, in light (pun intended) of their prodigious predatory aptitude, are stealing their way right into people’s news feeds as a hot topic of the week.