I Know You Have Bugs…

Okay galleons, I’m… well, I’m not a fan of bugs. Which is really a gross understatement, but I wanted to avoid saying “I have a bad habit of flipping out and flailing my extremities and screaming like a girl (in registers I didn’t know I was capable of even reaching) whenever insects come near me/are within my line of sight/touch me/look at me wrong with their creepy bug eyes, no matter what type of insect we’re talking about (with the weird exception of fireflies, which I can tolerate being on me, but only by a strong application of my will), yes, even butterflies, because I’ve never thought butterflies were that pretty and I don’t care how fucking harmless any of these creepy fucking things are, I don’t want them near me and I will let you and the world know, vocally, that I detest their presence and that I had to do an insect project in my high school biology class that resulted in me having a sobbing breakdown on my kitchen floor while holding a pair of pliers over the three pieces of a butterfly that used to be one piece that I had been attempting to pin to my board”… but since I just love telling on myself, I guess I said that anyway, so now you know my shame.

Actually, compared to how bad I was as a child, I really have gotten better. I mean, I’m still a pathetic girly wuss, but I’m less of a sniveling pathetic girly wuss.

I’ve really matured over the years.

But, despite my dislike of the insect world, we’re gonna talk about an insect today. Because it’s actually pretty interesting.

And also, it may be extinct. Which means it will never come near me. And that makes it the best kind of insect.

Lucihormetica luckae is a species of bioluminescent roach found in Tungurahua, a volcano in Ecuador. Now, when I say found, I mean found in the past tense. This glowing roach was just getting recognition in the scientific community when Tungurahua went and fucking erupted in 2010.

What the fuck, volcano?

Since then, nobody’s been able to find any of these strange roaches. It looks like they may be extinct. Which is kind of a sad day for science.

See, Lucihormetica luckae was kind of an interesting specimen. It was the first example of asymmetrical bioluminescence scientists had ever documented (and the only example- all study of the species came from one subject gathered 70 years ago). See, the little (well, not that little) guy has two spots up…

You know, it would be a lot easier if I just showed you what the fucking thing looked like, wouldn’t it? Okay galleons, meet Lucihormetica luckae:

You’ll notice that it has two large glowing spots on its upper back, as well as one small one on the right side (thus its asymmetry… though with only one example of the species, it’s kind of difficult to tell if that tiny spot is an aberration or the norm, now isn’t it?).

But not only is the bioluminescence of Lucihormetica luckae asymmetrical, it’s also a rare example of mimicry through bioluminescence.

…No, Lucihormetica luckae is not mimicking a jawa (though if it was, it’s doing a really good job):

Nor is it pretending it’s one of those creepy ghosts that attack Romani Ranch in Majora’s Mask:

No, Lucihormetica luckae‘s glow patterns (provided by symbiotic bacteria that dwell in divots on the insect’s body) actually resemble the glow patterns of another insect in the area, the click beetle:

Because click beetles are poisonous, mimicking their glow patterns may have made the predators of Lucihormetica luckae less likely to try to gobble them up. Which is a smart strategy, but thanks to a pesky volcano, it looks like Lucihormetica luckae might not have been as lucky as its name sounds.

Poor little fella… Oh, who the fuck am I kidding? I may love science, but I’d high five the shit out of that volcano if I could.

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