A reader writes to ask whether glowing green nightcrawlers are safe for turtles to eat. We’ve written previously about glowing green nightcrawlers, also known as glowworms, but this reader’s specific query, which we can surmise relates to a desire to expand a beloved pet turtle’s palate, has not been previously addressed. To that end, we’ve prepared a refresher on the nature of growing green nightcrawlers, as well as their suitability for animal consumption (we assume the possibility of human glowworm consumption is not of widespread interest). As you’ll see, some glowworms can probably be fed to pets and some cannot.
A reader from San Antonio, Texas wrote to us about worms with bioluminescence that he has been finding around his home. He hasn’t found the bioluminescent worms very often – just on a few evenings, and only during the winter months. When a worm exhibits bioluminescence, this means that its body is producing and emitting light though a chemical reaction – in other words, a bioluminescent worm is a worm that glows. So, in short, our reader is finding some sort of glowing worm. There are a number of so-called “glowworms” (also spelled “glow worms”), and of course all of these worms (which are actually not worms, but insect larvae) exhibit bioluminescence. Our reader was curious what kind of glowing worm he found, and it might seem obvious that he found some type of glowworm, but it’s a little more complicated than that. Below we’ll explain what glowworms are, and in so doing we’ll try to help our reader with his question about the bioluminescent worm he found.
Rhagophthalmidae, a family of beetles that live in Asia, have organs that glow. These beetles might be relatives of the firefly but it is not presently confirmed. Very little is actually known about these beetles. The females are wingless and look like larvae when at their final stage of development in the lifecycle.