Natural bioluminescence

Stuart Worboys sci-sjw2 at
Wed Jan 7 21:24:41 EST 1998


I'm writing from Cairns, Australia, with rainforest more or less on my
back doorstep.  If you head out into these rainforests at night during the
wet season, as well as picking up a few hungry leeches, you will
invariably see bioluminescent fungi.  Most frequently you only see the
glowing mycelium, which enclose fallen leaves and branches in a faintly
ghostly light, but if you're lucky, you'll actually see the mushroom
itself.  After the blackness of the forest, these fungi are actually quite
bright.  Perhaps the light serves to attract insects which disperse the

On Thu, 20 Nov 1997, Alan S. Wicks wrote:

> Mark Longo wrote:
> > 
> > Anybody know if three are any naturally bioluminescing plants (not
> > talking about genetically engineered ones).  I read that there were,
> > but
> > could not find any names for the species.
> > 
> > Thanks!
> > 
> > Please reply to longom at
> Greetings,
> According to the book Mushrooms Demystified the Omphalotus species
> ("Jack-o-lantern mushrooms) glow in the dark.  Also the mycelia of
> Armillariella (Armillaria) mellea are said to cause infected wood to
> glow in the dark.
> Alan S. Wicks

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