Firefly Squids grow only 8cm long but attract a lot of attention when they glow in the dark.

The also called Sparkling Enope Squid is found in the deep Western Pacific ocean and exhibits bioluminescence.
Each tentacle has an organ called a photophore, which produces light. These lights can attract prey as well as potential mates.

This squid is the only species of cephalopod with colour vision, which helps it to distinguish between ambient light and bioluminescence.
The combination of light-sensing and light-producing organs enable it to match its underside to the brightness and colour coming from the surface (counter-illumination), making it hard for predators from below to detect it.

The squid spends the day at depths of several hundred metres, returning to the surface when night falls.
The mating season lasts from March to May every year, where they gather in groups on the coast of Japan. Once the eggs have been released into the water and fertilized, the adult squids begin to die. This completes their one-year life cycle. This annual light show is so spectacular that the area where they gather has been designated as a special natural monument.

« »