Bioluminescence is cool. Catch a bunch of fireflies, maybe a few glow worms, put them in a jar and boom, you’ve got yourself a makeshift lantern. Good for those ominous nights you decide to go caving.
But there’s another species of bioluminescent insect out there, one you might not want to collect for fun: Lucihormetica luckae. A South American cockroach.
Their glowiness is actually the result of microbes that live in pits within their carapaces. You can’t see it with the naked eye, but shine a fluorescent light over one of these roaches and there it is. A cool, green-yellow glow.
Unfortunately, they might not be around too much longer, because their volcano home was destroyed when it erupted about two years ago. According to Discover Magazine, no specimens have been found since then.
Image credit: Vršanský et al., “Light-mimicking cockroaches indicate Tertiary origin of recent terrestrial luminescence,” Naturwissenschaften (2012)