Male Glowworms Have (Figurative) Sex Radar

By Diane Kelly on at

These enormous antennae are for more than just show. The male glowworm beetle needs them if he’s going to track down a female. It’s not that lady glowworms are shy, they can’t go looking for males. They have no wings.

Thus, glowworm courtship looks a little like this: a lady looking for love throws specific chemical invitations into the air, pheromones indicating she’s available. Males from far and wide pick up the signal: their feathery antennae slow down the air passing through the frilly branches, giving any pheromone molecules wafting by time to stick. A lucky glowworm dude will follow the chemical trail until he reaches its source. There, he’ll find the soft green glow of his intended.

It’s not that different from Tinder, really.

[Sources: Arnett et al. 2002 | Prestwich and Blomquist 2014]


This article originally appeared on Throb