View of a firefly with luminoustail glowing

View of a firefly with luminoustail glowing

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Credit: GREGORY SCOTT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Firefly. View of a firefly (family Lampyridae) with luminous glowing tail. These harmless, soft- bodied, nocturnal beetles exhibit bioluminescence, the ability of an organism to emit visible light. The energy system for the bioluminescence is of extremely high efficiency, no excess heat is produced, and involves enzyme reactions with oxygen. The insect regulates the flashes of light by controlling the amount of air admitted to the bioluminescent organ, located on its abdomen. The flashing lights enable fireflies to signal their presence to one another, this is of special importance during the mating season.

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Keywords: animal, bioluminescence, fire fly, firefly, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, lampyridae, nature, wildlife, with glowing tail, zoology

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