Animals

Published on July 7th, 2016 | by Jake Richardson

0

Glowing Vomit Attracts Female Crustaceans

July 7th, 2016 by

On your next date, you might not want to try vomiting bioluminescent mucus, but for male crustaceans called ostracods it works like a charm. The female ostracods like it, say some researchers.

800px-Ostracod

“When you’re there watching this display it’s spectacular. You can have up to nine species all in the same area displaying at similar times. I don’t know how the females do it, but they’re really good at figuring out who is their correct male,” explained Emily Ellis. She and Todd Oakley are scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara who study ostracods in the Caribbean.

The bioluminescent mucus is vomited by the males in what looks like strings of beads that glow for a short while and then fade out. Some of the strings are in patterns, vertical streaks, or horizontal trails. At about the 30-second mark in the video below, there is a similar kind of bioluminescence.

The researchers say bioluminescent courtship is most likely a sexually selected trait, one which plays a role in choosing a mate. Vomiting glowing mucus doesn’t sound at all appealing to us, but it is a courtship display similar to what other species do like the bellowing of a male frog, of the flashing of fireflies.

Tens of thousands of ostracod species had been identified, but only the ones in the Caribbean are believed to be use bioluminescence for mating. Others use it as a defense against predators. Ostracods are small creatures typically ranging in size from 1 mm to 30 mm. Another name for this class of species is seed shrimp.

The researchers also found that the rates of species accumulation for a number of species which used bioluminescence in courtship was higher than in those that did not experience courtship. Accumulation is the rate of new species that emerge.

Image Credit: Anna SymeCC BY 2.5

Keep up to date with all the most interesting green news on the planet by subscribing to our (free) Planetsave newsletter.


Tags: , ,


About the Author

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.



Back to Top ↑
  • Connect!

  • 5 Ingredients For A Green Life

    Green Living Info
  • Advertisement

  • 7 Ways to Go Solar

    Solar Power Growth
  • 8 Electric Car Benefits

    electric car benefits
  • Advertisement

  • 10 Bicycling Benefits

    Dutch Bicyclist
  • Save $10,000/Year Riding Transit

    transit savings
  • Advertisement

  • Electric Cars List (US & Europe)

    Solar Power Growth
  • Top Posts On Planetsave

  • Free News from Planetsave!



  • Tell us Your Sustainability Story!

  • Go Solar

    Want to save the planet? Want to live green? Want to save some serious cash money? Go solar! The cost of solar panels today is at a serious low. Go and get a solar quote and home solar report for your home... and then help save the planet!
  • Search the IM Network