Fireflies: lightning bugs

Fireflies: lightning bugs

The Lampyridae are a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged beetles, commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous use of bioluminescence during twilight to attract mates or prey. Fireflies produce a “cold light”, with no infrared or ultraviolet frequencies. This chemically produced light from the lower abdomen may be yellow, green, or pale red, with wavelengths from 510 to 670 nanometers.

About 2,000 species of fireflies are found in temperate and tropical climates. Many are in marshes or in wet, wooded areas where their larvae have abundant sources of food. Their larvae emit light and often are called “glowworms” in Eurasia and elsewhere. In the Americas, “glow worm” also refers to the related Phengodidae. In many species, both male and female fireflies have the ability to fly, but in some species, the females are flightless.Fireflies tend to be brown and soft-bodied, often with the elytra, or front wings, more leathery than those of other beetles. Although the females of some species are similar in appearance to males, larviform females are found in many other firefly species. These females can often be distinguished from the larvae only because they have compound eyes. The most commonly known fireflies are nocturnal, although there are numerous species that are diurnal. Most diurnal species are not luminescent; however, some species that remain in shadowy areas may produce light.

Fireflies - Lightning Bugs Agro Sciences

Fireflies - Lightning Bugs Agro Sciences

Important things about lightning bugs : –
Fireflies are beetles and they belong to Lampyridae, a family of insects within the beetle order Coleoptera, or winged beetles. The Lampyridae comes from the Greek “lampein,” meaning to shine just like a lamp. The light is produced by the firefly is almost 100 percent. Each species has a specific pattern of light flashing and males use this pattern to let the ladies of the same species know that they would be a fine match for one another. When a female notices a suitable suitor, she replies with her own species-specific flash and to decide which male to mate with.

Best Locations to See Fireflies in Different Parts of the World : –
There are different types of fireflies that are found in different parts of the world from North and South America to Europe and Asia. There are different types of research reports that have been written on fireflies and all these research reports claim that they are found in various habitats including the forests, fields or the margins between them. Some species are also found in more arid areas but most species of fireflies typically follow the rainy season.

Different types of research studies have been written on fireflies and all these reports have revealed this fact that most firefly species live on standing water particularly near ponds, streams, marshes, rivers and lakes. Many firefly species live at the margins where forest of field meets the water. They eat different things during different stages of their life. For example, the larva feed on different prey from that of adult fireflies. While adult fireflies also live on other insects as well as pollen and plants. It is also said about fireflies that they love humid and warm environment. They also love long green grass as they are nocturnal and during the day they spend most of their time on the ground. The long grass provides best protection and it also allows them a better vantage point for signaling at night.

Best Locations to See Fireflies in Different Parts of the World

There are different types of research reports that have also shown this fact that firefly lights are most efficient lights in the world as 100% of the energy is emitted as light. Different scientists of the world refer to firefly light as cold light. Not only the adult fireflies glow, even the larva and eggs also emit the light. As they are primarily carnivorous, they usually eat snails and worms. Some species of fireflies feed on other fireflies. Another interesting thing has been pointed out by different types of research reports that fireflies have short life spans. The larva usually lives for approximately one year, from mating season to mating season.

Different types of research studies also suggest that fireflies also imitate each other. Sometimes male photuris imitate male photinus to attract females of their own species. As we mentioned above they love humid and warm environment and due to this fact they thrive in the tropical regions as well as the temperate zones. They also need a moist environment to survive. Different types of research studies also suggest that some species of fireflies are medically and scientifically useful. There are two chemicals which are found in a firefly’s tail.

Best Locations to See Fireflies in Different Parts of the Worlds
Kampung Kuantan in Malaysia is considered as one of the best place to watch the fireflies. There are different types of research reports that have clearly shown this fact that one of the best places in the world to see the fireflies is in Kampung Kuantuan, Malaysia. A small number of firefly species perform an astonishing collective trick there. They normally light up a one. According to some research studies, tens of thousands of fireflies blinks in a perfect unison for minutes. In some cases, they also blink for hours at a time. This phenomenon is known as “sychronicity” and it is considered as a mysterious phenomenon.

Different types of research studies have been written on this topic and all the reports have shown the same fact that even though each firefly flashes according to its own natural rhythm, it also receives feedback from flashing lights nearby. This feedback loop often leads to a humongous mass of simultaneously blinking fireflies. Due to poor management of the officials, this species has been disappearing from the region and this thing is more prominent since last ten years. The number of fireflies has also decreased in this region due to river pollution.

Kuala Selangor in Kuala Lumpur is also considered as one of the best places to see the fireflies around the world. There are different types of research reports that have been written on this topic and all the research reports declared this place and ideal place to watch the fireflies. Normally the journey from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Selangor takes around 2 hours. Different types of research studies have shown this fact that this place has the largest firefly colonies in the world. The visitors can find palm oil trees, coconut and rubber trees, cows grazing grass and locally owned pottery kiln, road side fruit stalls and rickety general stalls. The firefly colonies are found at the edge of Selangor River. It is considered as a small agricultural village and is widely known for its large firefly families and colonies.

Elkmont, Tennessee in USA is also considered another best place to watch the fireflies. This place has wonderful memories for different peoples of the area regarding the stories of fireflies. Every year, different visitors come from different parts of the world to see the playing fireflies. Different types of research studies have also been written on this area and all the research reports have revealed the fact that the fireflies are an integral part of this area.

Presented By:- Dr. Ashish Uniyal
(HOD) Department of Agriculture Science.
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital

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