Rare species of woodlouse glows in the dark

An incredibly rare species of woodlouse has just been discovered to have glow in the dark properties.

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BBC Wildlife

The critically endangered spiky yellow woodlouse can only be found on St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is one of many endemic and rare species on the remote island.

The rare woodlouse is normally incredibly difficult to spot against the fern fronds habitat, but now the use of a UV torch has enabled researchers to find it more easily, as well as discovering the species in new locations.

Although glowing under a UV light is a common feature than is frequently seen in scorpions, the spiky yellow woodlouse is only the second woodlouse species in the world known to glow under an ultraviolet light.

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This new discover is excellent news for evaluating population numbers of the rare species, as the individuals can now be found a lot faster in surveys. Amy-Jayne Dutton from St Helena National Trust said, “As many as 57 individuals have been counted in a five minute search. An astonishing number for a species whose population was originally thought to number 50 in its entirety.”

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