Aboriginal Origins of the Firefly

Topics: Firefly, Phengodidae, Bioluminescence Pages: 10 (2122 words) Published: April 17, 2013
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For other uses, see Firefly (disambiguation).
|Firefly |
|[pic] |
|Photuris lucicrescens[1] |
|Scientific classification |
|Kingdom: |Animalia |
|Phylum: |Arthropoda |
|Class: |Insecta |
|Order: |Coleoptera |
|Suborder: |Polyphaga |
|Infraorder: |Elateriformia |
|Superfamily: |Elateroidea |
|Family: |Lampyridae |
| |Latreille, 1817 |
|Subfamilies |
|Cyphonocerinae |
|Lampyrinae |
|Luciolinae |
|Ototetrinae (disputed) |
|Photurinae |
|and see below |
|[pic] |
|Genera incertae sedis: |
|Oculogryphus |
|Pterotus LeConte, 1859 |

Lampyridae is a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged beetles, and commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous crepuscular use of bioluminescence 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.[2] About 2,000 species of firefly are found in temperate and tropical environments. Many are in marshes or in wet, wooded areas where their larvae have abundant sources of food. These larvae emit light and often are called "glowworms", in particular, in Eurasia. 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, females are flightless.[3] |Contents | |1 Biology | |1.1 Light and chemical production | |1.2 Systematics | |2 References | |3 Further reading | |4 External links |

A larviform female showing light-emitting organs on abdomen
Fireflies tend to be brown and soft-bodied, often with the elytra (front wings) more leathery than in 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,[4] although there are numerous species that are diurnal. Most diurnal species are nonluminescent; however, some species that remain in shadowy areas may produce light. A few days after mating, a female lays her fertilized eggs on or just below the surface of the ground. The eggs hatch three to four weeks later, and the larvae feed until the end of the summer. The larvae are commonly called glowworms, not to be confused with the distinct beetle family Phengodidae or fly genus Arachnocampa. Lampyrid larvae have simple eyes. The term glowworm is also used for both...
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