First Bioluminescent Click Beetle Species Discovered in Asia

Posted on July 27, 2019

Sinopyrophorus schimmeli

Scientists have discovered a new species of bioluminescent click beetle in Asia. It was discovered in 2017 in the subtropical evergreen broadleaf forests in southwest China. The new species represents a new click beetle subfamily.

There are over 10,000 species of click beetles (Elateridae) but only about 200 of them can emit light. The position of the luminious organs varies in the different luminous click beetle species.

Dr. Xue-Yan Li, a co-author of the paper, says in a statement, "The morphological investigation in combination with the molecular analysis based on 16 genes showed that our taxon is not only a new species in a new genus, but that it also represents a completely new subfamily of click beetles. We chose the name Sinopyrophorus for the new genus, and the new subfamily is called Sinopyrophorinae."

Here a video showing the beetle's biolumiscent properties:

Male (left) and female (right) specimens of the new species are pictured above. A research paper on the new species was published in the scientific journal, ZooKeys.