Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Arachnocampa luminosa


I am a graduate student from Taiwan. Recently i am trying to self-study entomology. Not long ago I learned about a sort glow worm that is called Arachnocampa luminosa. I googled it, then discovered that it is a sort of regional insects that can only be found in Australia. According to the description that i can find on line. This Arachnocampa insect can only lived in a windless cave. Otherwise their glowing dropping mucus might be mess up by the flow of wind. However, it seems to me that a certain amount of them dwell by the sea. (The Wikipedia map of where to find them : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_Zealand_location_map.svg)

Is this phenomena purely occurring out of the geographic limitation of Australia? Or is it something related to the traits of Arachnocampa luminosa?

This is my question. Thank you so much!!


Dear Johnnie - The midge Arachnocampa luminosa to the best of knowledge occurs only in New Zealand, and their distribution indeed appears restricted to caves or cave-like environments (see http://tinyurl.com/nua8gtt). The reason that some distribution points on the map you cited appear close to the sea simply is because that's where the suitable environments happen to be located.
Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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