Predator firefly, SEM

Predator firefly, SEM

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Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Predator firefly (.). Female Photuris fireflies are known for mimicking the mating flashes of other fireflies for the sole purpose of predation. Male fireflies are attracted to what appears to be a mate and are then eaten. Note the large mandibles show here that are used for predation. Photuris species are sometimes referred to as femme fatale fireflies. This beetle is named for its ability to flash its abdomen with a yellowish-green fluorescent colour. The firefly does this by using an enzyme (luciferase) to oxidize a chemical, called luciferin, in a chamber in its posterior abdominal segments. The firefly controls the flashes by regulating the amount of oxygen that enters the chamber. Photuris light emitting seems to have evolved independently. The production of light by an organism is known as bioluminescence. Magnification: x9 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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