Among the numerous species of insects in the world, Firefly is the one who had captivated the attention of many people over time. This amazing and unique insect can easily be distinguished, but it is at the same time difficult to spot. If you would like to learn more about fireflies, where to find them and how to spot them, you have come to the right place! Here, you will be able to read all you wanted to know about fireflies, as well as to find some interesting facts about this amazing insect.
What Are Fireflies?
Fireflies are insects which belong to the beetle order of Coleoptera. These beetles with wings are sometimes referred to as lightning bugs or fireflies, mainly due to their properties of using bioluminescence during dusk to attract prey or mates. They produce the light using chemical agents in their bodies, and the light can be green, yellow or pale red. There are 2000 species of this amazing insect, and they are usually habituated in marshes or tropical areas.
How Do Fireflies Glow?
Due to bioluminescence, they can emit light in their specialized light-emitting organs which are found on their lower abdomens. The enzyme which is used for these purposes is called luciferase, and it acts on the luciferin and oxygen to produce the light. The very purpose of light is different at different stages of the life of an individual. As larvae, the light is considered to warn off predators, as well as warn them about potentially harmful chemicals in the very larva. Adults use the light to attract mates and communicate in their courtship. They frequently use different strategies of communicating as well, from steady glows to flashing, they send different information and signals to their potential mates.
They also sometimes send flashes in large groups, a phenomenon which is known as phase synchronization or spontaneous order. The light is sometimes emitted with utmost precision, and thousands of fireflies can be seen in the Philippines, for example, emitting their light. There are also bugs which can imitate the flashing of fireflies in predation purposes. However, there are also many fireflies that do not produce light, and they inhabit shadowy places, but they are not nocturnal animals, rather they are most active during the day. These fireflies also do not use their bioluminescent properties to attract mates, but rather their pheromones. Pheromones are used for sexual selection and their photic organs for warning signals.
Where To Find Fireflies?
If you are interested in finding fireflies, you will have to try in warmer climate areas and wet marshes. Also, the majority of fireflies are active during the night and twilight, so it would be a great time to look for this natural phenomenon. Find a place outside of a city or a town and enjoy your pleasant evening with fireflies and make sure that you appreciate the effort this tiny insect go through to put this spectacle for you