Glowing hemolymph in an insect

I made a really puzzling observation today. I found a very small flying insect (~1mm) at a friends house. I could not identify if it was a really small fly, wasp or something else. Intrigued; I ended up putting it inside a foldscope.

As luck would have it; I squashed the big and a whole lot of hemolymph came swarming out. Now, I squash many bugs under a foldscope – nothing unusual – usually I see lots of lipid (fat droplets). But this time; something was special. All the droplets were glowing – yes, you read it right. Glowing. I was so thrilled – I almost forgot to take any pictures. I only took these three images.

I have imaged so many insects, never seen hemolymph like this. I will try to sample the same insect again; but would love to hear thoughts others might have.

@Laks: in the past we discussed bilirubin before. Any connections to the same.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Niramay Gogate says:

    Hello @Manu Prakash ,
    I am not at all an expert in biology but from what I can feel from your photos is that there was a light source behind ( which is how we normally use the foldscope ) that illuminated those hemolymphs. If the hemolymphs are glowing (by that I mean , self-illuminating) then can you post their images without the light source behind ?
    It will be a great experience to see small blobs glowing on a dark background

  2. laksiyer says:

    @Manu. Fantastic. It looks like the fat bodies of the insect has been squashed in this process. That color is amazing. Could be unconjugated bilirubin or perhaps a fat-soluble carotenoid, from what the insect eats. Shall squash a few myself now.

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