Waitomo glow caves

These are the Waitomo glow caves in New Zealand, and they’re named for the glowworms that inhabit them, Arachnocampa luminosa. The glowworms are endemic to New Zealand, and are around the size of an average mosquito. The walls of the caves are covered with a mushroom like fungi related to the genus Pleurotus. Albino cave ants and weta (giant crickets) also inhabit this cave system.

Arachnocampa luminosa

(via Wiki)

Arachnocampa is a genus of four fungus gnat species which have a luminescent larval stage, akin to the larval stage of glowworm beetles. The species of Arachnocampa are endemic to New Zealand and Australia, dwelling in caves and grottos, or sheltered places in forests.

A previous synonym was “Bolitiphila,” meaning “mushroom lover,” in the past. The name was changed in 1924 to Arachnocampa, meaning “spider-worm,” for the way the larvae hang sticky silk threads to ensnare prey. The genus Arachnocampa belongs in the family Keroplatidae.

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4 Responses to Waitomo glow caves

  1. holy cow that is gorgeous!

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  2. I was wondering if these were your own wonderful images as I am writing an information site on biolumienscence and it is pretty dull viewing so I wondered if it would be possible to use your images albeit much small resolution on this page http://www.bioluminescentbeetles.com/luminescence/bioluminescent-flies/ – I am afraid I cannot pay but would be very happy to provide a link to your site and you will be fully credited as the creator with an image tag. Regards John

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  3. Chiara says:

    Dear John, the first image was posted by Redditor “forevergone” ( http://www.reddit.com/user/forevergone ) , who says it was taken on a Spellbound Glow-Worm Cave Tour. The last image by James Dooley ( https://plus.google.com/u/0/109739791098540018306 )
    If you want to use them, you can do it. :)
    Have a nice day!

    Like

  4. Pingback: New Long-Exposure Photographs of Waitomo Glow Caves | The Dancing Rest

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