It is a Worm, but looks like he is armour plated
November 27, 2009
I wonder if you could help us?
My two boys, Ronin (9) and Raith (7) found this bug in the garden under dry leaves about 3 weeks ago. No one seems to know what it is, but he looks armour plated and yet has a snail like head? My boys have named him Rolanaith ( A mixure of all our names ) AKA Nathan. 🙂
We keep him in a big container inside with lots of dark brown garden sand, moist flowers, green leaves, dry and wet, some grass and ground cover etc .. as to create his home environment and this is changed regulary.
We seem to find him under the flowers most of the time. If you touch him, he also glows, he has two spots on either side of him at the bottom of his body and he glows bright green. HE has become our pet … 🙂 but we dont really know what he is, what he eats, what the correct environment is for him etc. please let me know as soon as possible. We dont want him to die, but after 3 weeks, he is still very much alive .. We look forward to your urgent feedback.
Lance, Angela, Ronin & Raith
Kwazulu Natal, Durban
Hi Lance, Angele, Ronin and Raith,
This is a Firefly larva, also called a Lightning Bug. It is a beetle in the family Lampyridae. Adults fly and flash their lights to signal mates, but the light in the larva is believed to be a defense mechanism to warn predators of the Firefly’s powerful chemical defense that has an unpleasant taste. It sounds like your environment is fine, but you need to provide food. According to BugGuide: “Nocturnal, some live in moist places under debris on the ground, others beneath bark and decaying vegetation. Food Larvae prey on small animals including snails.” Our knowledge of world geography is sometimes lacking, and we needed to look up that Kwazulu Natal, Durban is in South Africa.
Oh my word, THANK YOU! I cannot tell you how much we appreciate your input. THANK YOU. So does this mean that it will develop into a fire fly? It is so big?
Larvae are often larger than the adults. This might also be an adult female as the females are often larviform