Top 10 New Species of 2013
Luminescence among terrestrial animals is rather rare and best known among certain groups of beetles — fireflies and certain click beetles in particular — and cave-inhabiting fungus gnats. Since the first discovery of a luminescent cockroach in 1999, more than a dozen species have, pardon the pun, come to light. All are rare and, interestingly, so far only found in remote areas far from light pollution. The latest addition to this growing list is L. luckae that may be endangered or possibly already extinct. It is known from a single specimen collected 70 years ago from an area recently heavily impacted by the eruption of the Tungurahua volcano. The species may be most remarkable because the size and placement of its lamps suggest that it is using light to mimic toxic luminescent click beetles.
Vrsansky, P., Chorvat, D., Fritzsche, I., Hain, M., and R,. Sevcik. 2012. Light-mimicking cockroaches indicate Tertiarty origin of recent terrestrial luminescence. Naturwissenschaften. 99, 739-749.