Cockroaches that glow in the dark became one of the 10 most unique new species throughout 2012. This annual list was launched by a jury team from the International Institute for Species Exploration, Arizona State University, United States, on Thursday last week.
The insect scientific name Lucihormetica luckae is included in the list because its body can glow in the dark. The body of a cockroach during the day is brown like a house cockroach. When night comes, his body will glow greenish yellow.
The combination of the glowing body with the unique pattern on its back makes this cockroach look scary so it avoids predators. This species was thought to be extinct because its habitat was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Tungurahua in Ecuador in December 2010.
"These cockroaches imitate the tricks performed by poisonous beetles," said the head of the jury, Antonio Valdecasas, as quoted by LiveScience, Monday, May 27, 2013.
The announcement of the list of 10 unique new species coincides with the birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, an 18th century botanist who created a modern system of classification and naming species.
Valdecasas said the jury was looking for organisms of unexpected features and sizes found in unique or hard-to-reach habitats. The jury is also looking for organisms that are considered important to humans, affect the environment, or are considered close relatives of humans.
The ten unique new species were selected from more than 140 nominations. All nominated species must have officially acquired a scientific name by 2012 and be described with the appropriate code nomenclature.
Species also on the list include the carnivorous harp-like sponge (Chondrocladia lyra) that lives on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, the blue-bottomed monkey (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the snail-eating snake (Sibon noalamina) in Panama, and the world's smallest frog. (Paedophryne amanuensis).