Waitomo Glow Worms Attractions
Waitomo New Zealand offers amazing caves with stunning displays of glow worms
. People from all over the world visit the Waitomo Caves to see these stunning formations. In a huge group, these glow worms offer an amazing sight, resembling the stars in the night sky.
The Waitomo New Zealand Glow Worm
(Arachnocampa luminosa) is a two-winged insect (fungus gnat) at the ‘larva’ stage of its life-cycle. It lives in dark damp places and emits light to attract flying insects for food. Sticky substances on their feeding lines trap flying insects and these are drawn up and devoured.
Glow worms in the Waitomo Caves
feed only in the larvae stage and store sufficient food or energy to survive the pupa and adult stages. In adult form, the glow worm resembles a mosquito. Glow worms remain in this larva stage for about nine months, growing from 2mm to over 25mm in length. The glow worm’s total life cycle takes about 11 months.
The light the glow worm emits is called bioluminescence. The glow worm controls its light by reducing oxygen to the light organ. The light is the result of a chemical reaction and is similar to the way we make heat in our bodies.
Glow worms can only survive in damp, dark places. They need an environment with a horizontal ceiling or ledges, where they can hang their feeding lines, and sheltered places where wind can’t dry them out or tangle their lines. That is why the caves provide the perfect glow worm habitat.
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