People viewing a cave filled with fireflies

People viewing a cave filled with fireflies

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Caption: Fireflies in cave. People in a boat (lower centre) viewing a cave filled with glowing fireflies. Fireflies (family Lampyridae) are nocturnal beetles that use light to attract mates. The light is produced by the oxidation of a benzthiazole derivative by an enzyme called luciferase. The reaction is extremely efficient, producing no heat radiation. The firefly regulates the flashes by controlling the amount of air admitted to the light-producing organ on its abdomen. Photographed in New Zealand.

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Keywords: animal, bioluminescence, boat, cave, fireflies, firefly, in cave, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, lampyridae, nature, people in boat, wildlife, zoology

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