Fireflies’ Synchronised Wave Of Light

Fireflies’ Synchronised Wave Of Light.

Among the 2,000 species of fireflies in the world, only synchronous fireflies coordinate their flash patterns, and these are found in specific parts of the world. This article by the BBC informs us on these latter curious species. These insects are actually beetles, nocturnal members of the family Lampyridae. Most fireflies are winged, which distinguishes them from other luminescent insects of the same family, commonly known as glowworms. Fireflies love moisture and often live in humid regions of Asia and the Americas. In drier areas, they are found around wet or damp areas that retain moisture. They have dedicated light organs that are located under their abdomens; the insects take in oxygen, and inside special cells, combine it with a substance called luciferin to produce light with almost no heat. Their light is usually intermittent, and flashes in patterns that are unique to each specie. Each blinking pattern is an optical signal that helps them find potential mates. Scientists are not sure how the insects regulate this process to turn their lights on and off. Firefly light may also serve as a defence mechanism that flashes a clear warning of the insect’s unappetising taste. The fact that even larvae are luminescent lends support to this theory.

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