These South American fluorescent cockroaches use their glowing spots — really pits of bioluminescent bacteria — to mimic the markings of a toxic beetle, so predators will pass them by. More importantly, though, they look exactly like Jawas.
Look, it’s even wearing a little bandolier!
The picture on the right, of the roach under fluorescent light, is possibly EVE from WALL-E.
But that’s just camouflage; the Jawa drag is this critter’s real look. Which, if you think about it, explains a lot. A recent study found that luminescent roaches, and other land-dwelling luminous creatures, emerged on the planet surprisingly recently — no more than 65 million years. I think it’s obvious why: They traveled here a long time ago from a galaxy far, far away. And the fact that no specimens have been found in ages — that’s not because the volcano they lived on erupted two years ago. It’s because they decided to return to Tattooine.
And their migration probably looked like this:
(Sorry, I’ve maxed out my Star Wars jokes. All Spaceballs from here on out.)
Look at This: Glowing South American Roaches Mimic Toxic Beetles, 80beats.
Glowing insects evolved surprisingly recently, New Scientist.