Firefly

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For other uses, see Firefly (disambiguation).
Fireflies
Missing image
Lampyridae.jpg



SEM image of a firefly
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Coleoptera
Family:Lampyridae
Genera

Curtos
Cyphonocerus
Drilaster
Ellychnia
Hotaria
Lampyris
Lucidina
Luciola - (Japanese fireflies)
Photinus - (common eastern firefly)
Photuris
Pristolycus
Pyractomena
Pyrocoelia
Stenocladius

Fireflies (family Lampyridae), also known as lightning bugs, are nocturnal, luminous beetles. These names come from the fact that some species as adults emit flashes of light to attract mates, using special light-emitting organs in the abdomen. The chemical controlling the light emission, luciferase, is of scientific interest, and genes for producing it have been spliced into many different organisms.

Many species, especially in the genus Photinus, are distinguished by the unique courtship flash patterns emitted by flying males as they search for females. Photinus females generally do not fly, but give a flash response to males of their own species.

Many species of lampyrid beetles do not glow as adults, but they all glow as larvae. The larvae of fireflies are generally known as glowworms (but see Phengodidae). Bioluminescence serves a different function in lampyrid larvae than it does in adults. Larval bioluminescence appears to be a warning signal to predators, since many firefly larvae contain chemicals that are distasteful or toxic.

There are more than 2000 species of firefly, found in temperate and tropical environments around the world.

Template:Biology-stub

External link

References

de:Leuchtkfer he:גחלילית ja:ホタル minnan:Hóe-kim-ko· nl:Glimwormen

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