A research group from Nagoya University in central Japan has discovered three new species of bioluminescent polycirrus worms from different parts of Japan. Usually found in shallow water, polycirrus are small worms, known for their bioluminescence. The researchers named one of their discoveries after a ghostly yokai, a creature in Japanese foklore; another after a lantern yokai; and the other after an influential Japanese marine biologist. They published their findings in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
Naoto Jimi, Manabu Bessho-Uehara, Koji Nakamura, Masahiko Sakata, Taro Hayashi, Shusei Kanie, Yasuo Mitani, Yoshihiro Ohmiya, Aoi Tsuyuki, Yuzo Ota, Sau Pinn Woo, Katsunori Ogoh. Investigating the diversity of bioluminescent marine worm Polycirrus (Annelida), with description of three new species from the Western Pacific. Royal Society Open Science, 2023; 10 (3) DOI: 10.1098/rsos.230039