This is the swima bombiviridis, a bioluminescent “Green Bomber” that was found in deep Pacific waters in 2009 by Karen Osborn of Scripps Oceanography. From ScienceMag.org:
Thousands of meters below the sea, a tiny worm wriggles through the darkness, its dozens of paddle-shaped bristles moving in beautiful coordination. Suddenly, a hungry predator appears. The worm releases a glowing green sac, and the fish homes in on this bright new trophy. By the time the fish realizes the sac is no meal, the worm is long gone.
Arachnocampa is a genus of four fungus gnat species which are, in their larval stage, glow worms. They are found mostly in New Zealand and Australia in caves and grottos, or sheltered places in forests.
The larva spins a nest out of silk on the ceiling of the cave and then hangs down as many as 70 threads of silk (called snares) from around the nest, each up to 30 or 40 cm long and holding droplets of mucus…
The larva glows to attract prey into its threads, perhaps luring them into believing they are outdoors, for the roof of a cave covered with larva can look remarkably like a starry sky at night.
From fireflies to glow worms to deep sea creatures, bioluminescence is a big deal around our house, so we’re always on the hunt for a good light show. This video is composed of snips from the BBC’s Deep Blue, a feature film recut from the longer four part documentary, The Blue Planet.