Glowworms in Australia

Last year we did a south-east Australia roadtrip. One of the highlights for me was visiting a few of the glowworm areas deep in the night: at Melba Gully (Great Otway National Park) and at the Glowworm Cave (Wollemi National Park).

 

I became fascinated by the miniature cosmos these creatures create, a humble echo of the magnificent Milky Way you could see by staring up through the tall jungle canopy.

 

The glowworms (Arachnocampa richardsae) are fly larvae from a fungus gnat of the Keroplatidae family. This species is tiny, the worm about 1 cm, the gooey web cave they build around 3 cm wide.

The larvae build a structure composed of a horizontal mucous tube suspended by a network of threads attached to rocks, bark or soil. They build snares, much like spiderwebs, decorated by sticky droplets that glow in the blue light emitted by their tails, attracting small insects.

 
 

There are multiple locations in Australia and New Zealand to see glowworms. What I liked about Melba Gully, more than anything, was being out in the middle of a forest walk instead of inside a cave. We even spotted a platypus in the wild, hunting in one of the creeks.

I named this series after combinations of biological and cosmological terms, trying to bridge that gap between the micro and macro worlds.


Here is the full series, after clicking on any image, use the arrow keys to navigate through them.