*The world’s only bioluminescent millipedes use their glow as a warning signal to nocturnal predators, a UA-led research team has discovered.*
As night falls in certain mountain regions in California, a strange breed of creepy crawlies emerges from the soil: millipedes that glow in the dark. The reason behind the glowing secret has stumped biologists until now.
Paul Marek, a research associate in the University of Arizona’s department of entomology and Center for Insect Science, and his team now provide the first evidence gained from field experiments of bioluminescence being used as a warning signal. They discovered that the nightly glow of millipedes belonging to the genus Motyxia helps the multi-legged invertebrates avoid attacks by predators. (more…)