quagga at lin01.global.co.za
Sat Feb 17 19:14:49 EST 1996
I've just come back from a arachnid collecting trip to Lake st
Lucia, South Africa. Just to put things in perspective, it is situated on
the Northern Coast of Kwazulu/ Natal and consists of Tropical Dune forests
sandwitched between the Indian ocean and Lake st Lucia. It's actual name is
Mission Rocks, but the closest place on any map would probably be Cape Vidal
or Sodwana Bay or the town of St Lucia. It's been raining alot all over
Southern Africa especially in the Western regions of Southern Africa
including the North Coast.
During one such raining night, I was searching for some very special
spiders in the forest, when I noticed some little luminecent 'blobs' on the
foest floor. After fighting my way through the thick vegitation I noticed
more liminecent 'blobs', and to my suprise, the luminecent patches coincided
to where I have walked, footstep by footstep.
On closer investigation I found that It was a slimy substance that
was glowing. Further closer inspection revealed that the worms just under
the decaying leaves secreated this slime. When a worm was 'roughed up' it
literally squirted a spray of bioluminecent slime which glowed profusely as
a defense mechanism, better than anything I've seen in the shops.
Being the person I am, I caught some. They look like the ordinary
garden worm (Lumbricus sp.) About 12cm long. I've tried to find out what
they are, but none of my usual sources have turned up anything (Local
universities etc). I've been to Mission Rocks (St Lucia) many times an never
seen this before.
Has anyone heard of this before ? If so I'd like to know.
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