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New Glow-in-the-Dark Species Discovered in Red Sea February 12, 2016
New species of glowing polyp
The glowing polyps live on the backs of mud snails that only come out at night to feed.
Russian scientists say they have found a new species of glowing “fluorescent lanterns’ living in the coral reefs of Saudi Arabia’s Farasan archipelago, in the southern Red Sea.

The researchers from Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Tussian Academy of Sciences say the green-glowing polyps are a form of hydrozoa, of which only six other species have been found to be fluorescent.

The new Red Sea species attaches itself to the shells of a type of mud snail that comes out only at night. Writing in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers believe the green fluorescent proteins around the hydrozoa’s mouth could be there to attract prey.

Photo: Andrey Prudkovsky - Vyacheslav Ivanenko