Glowflies Species in Laethelle: the Starlight Age | World Anvil
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Ever since I was a little girl, whenever I've felt afraid or anxious, I would watch the glowflies as they worked. They're beautiful, like clouds of embers from some hidden fire. I watch them as they move from flower to flower, their tiny, delicate legs thick with pollen as they search for nectar. My mother once told me that in ancient times, the task of pollinating the fields was done by another creature, but they all died in the Dark. Now, glowflies do the work.   They seem to be attracted to life somehow. They swarm about the flowers and plants in the fields, but they'll swarm around people with even more energy. You can tell because they glow more brightly when they swarm a person or an animal. Maybe they need more than nectar to survive. Maybe they need some tiny filament of life drawn from the things they touch.   I hope so. If it's true, it means that every swarm carries the echoes of anyone and everyone they've ever touched. Perhaps my father is with them still, out there among the flowers.

Basic Information


Glowflies are small, no greater than a thumbnail at the largest. They are insects, and bear some similarities to moths and butterflies in that their legs and antennae are covered in delicate hair-like structures. Their abdomen carry some sort of bio-luminescent bacteria, which glow brightly in the presence of life. There are dozens of species of glowfly, and their luminescence can range in colour from green to blue to yellow to red.

Biological Traits

The most distinctive feature of the glowfly is its luminescence. While not individually bright, a swarm of glowflies can generate significant light, almost the equivalent of a small sunstone. While the Thramorri cannot be seriously harmed by the creatures, they are known to avoid glowfly mounds, which makes the domestication of the creatures attractive to humans - especially those who dwell near or even within the Penumbra.

Ecology and Habitats

Glowflies establish hives virtually everywhere. They are one of the few species to thrive in both the illuminated regions and the Dark. Their colonies - or hives - are wondrous to behold. They rise like towers made from a chitinous material that is opaque when secreted, but translucent when dried. The presence of millions of glowflies within a hive turns the entire mound into a tall, glowing spire of unearthly beauty.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Glowflies consume two main types of food: nectar harvested from flowering plants, and minuscule amounts of life-force drawn directly from the living things they interact with. These interactions cause no damage to any involved party, yet the glowflies clearly gain something.

Biological Cycle

Glowflies hatch from their eggs as faintly glowing larvae. After several weeks of near-constant eating - nectar for preference - they enter a pupal state which lasts three to four weeks. Once their metamorphosis is complete, they emerge as adult glowflies. They will live for nearly a year.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Virtually anywhere. There are some pockets of the Dark that are little more than lifeless deserts, where glowflies are rare.
glowflies appear to be some form of arcane-infused evolution of the firefly.
Approximately 1 year

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