15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
The Cerrado magic stars

Have you ever heard about the termite's nests bioluminescence? This incredible phenomena occurs exclusively in central Brazil, more precisely in the region of Emas National Park. With the first rains bringing moisture to the Cerrado (the Brazilian savannah), after several months of dry and harsh climate, millions of termites leave their nests and fly to mate. But the termites don’t attract just their partners, but also predators. In this same period, beetles of Elateridae family put their eggs in the gaps and little holes of termite’s nests. When the eggs finally hatch, they give place to very special larvae: they have in their body a substance called luciferin (lucifer, from Latin, means “light”), which shines in the dark. The flying termites are therefore attracted by the magic greenish light and become the beetles’ larvae dinner. Isn’t the life at the Cerrado magnificent?

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2017
Date Uploaded: 11.2017
Photo Location: Chapadão do Céu, Brazil
Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Copyright: © Augusto Gomes