New Zealand is famous for its glow worms that can be found across the country in caves, on the damp, overgrown banks of lakes and rivers and in forest undergrowth.
The “worms” are actually the larvae of a kind of fly known as a fungus gnat. Its tail glows with a blue-green light produced by an organ that performs a similar function to a human kidney.
The light is used to attract its prey into a snare of sticky threads, which can be seen in the video scattered across the roof of the cave.
The time lapse video above took several days to make, a process that is explained on this Canadian couple’s adventure blog.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.