Fireflies have astonished the human mind and imagination for centuries. They’ve embraced nicknames such as”lightning bug,” or”glow worm.” As soon as we experience them, they seem to be little light bulbs which float in the air, blinking to inaudible music and captivating our eyes with mystique and wonder. They have taken their place in human myth from ancient Mayan culture to contemporary Japanese and synchronized blinking, which occurs in many different places around the world, create a feeling of inquiry and amazement.
For those of us that are more objective in our reasoning, we might ask ourselves, what’s the mechanism behind the wall of miracle and how has it come to be? Lampyridae is the scientific name for these wondrous creatures. And contrary to what we might assume, these bugs are actually beetles, belonging to the order Coleoptera in scientific classification.
Fireflies are mostly nocturnal animals with brown and soft bodies, although more leathery than conventional beetles. Their act of creating light in the abdomen area is called bioluminescence, which explains, quite well, the procedure used to create the hypnotically titillating visual spectacle.
The light is formed through a chemical reaction that happens in the body. This interaction between both of these chemicals generates the energy required to give off light.
There are two chief reasons why fireflies glow at night: mating and impending danger. As there are some 2,000 unique sorts of fireflies around the globe, the light patterns emitted are specific to its particular kind. Once a match is found, mating can take place. After mating, the eggs are strategically placed in damp soil, where sowbug-like larvae will hatch in 3 weeks. These infant fireflies live for up to two years under floor, hunting and preying on earthworms, snails, slugs and mites.
Fireflies are very efficient light producers. Their ability to produce light in a cost-effective manner has sparked numerous research and development projects in the region of bioluminescence, regarding its potential human applications. To put things into perspective, the efficiency rate with the fireflies use to generate light hovers around 90%, where as the normal household light bulb comes with a speed of almost 10%.