Why do Fireflies Light up?

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Why do Fireflies Light up?

This question had been asked for as long as I can remember. Well fireflies or ‘lightning bugs, are members of the beetle family, which surprised a lot of people. Some really believed that they are actually ‘flies, that have glowing tails or abdomens. The difference between the two species makes the fireflies unique.

Even as larvae’s, the fireflies emit bio luminescence light that scientists believe to be a warning signal to potential predators. They are also called ‘glow worms, by other people when they are at this stage of their life. The larvae’s doesn’t stop eating and is capable on preying on smaller insects like worms and ants. The larvae then goes to the pupa stage and a fully grown firefly will emerge from that pupa. Fireflies are believed to use these ‘light flashes, to attract potential mates. The majority of Female fireflies are wingless. They rely on their own lights to attract males to mate with them.

The lights are produced by the chemicals luciferin, luciferase and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). These three chemicals work together to create the light that fireflies are well known for. Luciferin is a substance that reacts with the enzyme luciferase. When oxygen flows through the firefly’s body it serves as the fuel for the luciferin and luciferase and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) mixes these three to create the ‘light,.

It is a bit ironic, but the word Lucifer in Latin means ‘Light Bringer,. A unique name to give the two chemicals that is responsible for the fireflies glow. People love to see fireflies dance in the night air and watch the different flashes of light. A lot of people catch fireflies whenever the mood hits them. They should not do this because fireflies are better off in the wild, and not a suitable pet for people at home.

Author: maureen

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