EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Firefly. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the back of a male firefly (family Lampyridae). These winged beetles, also known as lightning bugs, are named for their ability to flash their abdomens. This is achieved using an enzyme (luciferase) to oxidise a chemical in a chamber in the tip of its abdomen, and is known as bioluminescence. The firefly controls the flashes by regulating the amount of oxygen that enters the chamber. The flashes of light are used to attract mates. Magnification: x15 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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