Firefly Facts

Firefly Facts
Firefly also known as lightning bug is a type of beetle. There are more than 2.000 species of fireflies that can be found in tropical and temperate parts of the world. Fireflies prefer warm, moist areas. They live in the forests, fields, marshes and areas near the lakes, rivers and streams. Number of fireflies in the wild is decreasing due to light pollution (lack of darkness prevents normal communication) and habitat destruction. Several species of fireflies are already on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Firefly Facts:
Firefly can reach 0.2 to 1 inch in length.
Firefly has brown or black body covered with yellow or orange markings.
Firefly has a pair of leathery forewings (called elytra) which cover membranous wings and soft, flat body. Females of some species of fireflies are wingless.
Most species of fireflies are nocturnal creatures (active during the night).
Fireflies eat snails and worms during the larval stage. Adult insects feed on nectar, pollen and mites. Certain species of fireflies (adult insects) do not have mouth and they do not eat at all.
Fireflies are able to emit yellow, pale red or green light (phenomenon called bioluminescence) thanks to the special light-producing organs on the belly. Males emit light to attract females. Intensity and pattern of light depend on the species. Diurnal species of fireflies do not produce light.
Fireflies produce "cold light". Unlike the light bulb which cannot produce light without heat (light bulb produces 90% of heat and only 10% of light), fireflies produce only light (they do not emit heat).
Some fireflies (when they gather in large groups) produce light at the same time (synchronously).
Fireflies undergo complete metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa and adult insect. They are able to produce light during all life stages.
Larvae, called glowworms, produce light to repel predators (sudden light can startle most predators). Even those that live in the water or under the ground are able to produce light.
Some larvae secrete drops of blood (process known as "reflex bleeding") loaded with bitter, unpalatable or even toxic substances to protect themselves against predators.
Despite their toxins, fireflies are favorite type of food for the majority of frogs. They (frogs) even become able to emit light after consumption of large number of fireflies.
Larvae of certain Asian species of fireflies have gills and they live in the water. Most other fireflies (larvae) spend their life under the ground or on the trees.
Larval stage of fireflies can last one or (rarely) few years. Larvae remain dormant during the winter. Adults live shortly. They die as soon as they complete reproduction.
Luciferase, enzyme used for the production of light, is widely used in scientific and medical experiments, for the food safety testing and in the forensics.

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