Name: Luminous Puffmote, Airbag Salamander*
Description: A Fully-grown male puffmote measures from 2-5cm long (nose to tail) with a dark coloured body and lighter, bioluminescent markings.
A Female or ‘Queen’ puffmote has a longer, snakelike body. She is typically white, with darker markings, and a more defined crest or ‘crown’.
*Misnomer, puffmotes are unrelated to salamanders
Notes: puffmotes emerge from sleep in the late afternoon; often to be found hovering around flowers in sun-warmed places. The ones you’ll see in the daylight are typically the males, collecting nectar which is then stored in an internal pouch.
The puffmote Queen anchors herself to a plant stem, and is much harder to spot during the day. However, at night she is far more noticeable.
Often mistaken for the light of a glow worm or firefly, puffmote have bioluminescent markings. Males have a small glowing crest, and markings down to their tails. Queens have a bright crown and body spots, which they use in a ‘dance’ to attract mates.
Entry compiled by: Thursday Madaki