揖斐川町 「轟観音・ホタルの里」 2011
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2011年6月23日撮影 滋賀県米原市 蛍（ゲンジボタル）の乱舞
a firefly wild dance -- a visionary beam 2012
5DMarkⅢ ホタルの光をもとめて 2012
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元八ほたるっ子 blog: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/singyou_jp
Lampyridae is a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged beetles, and commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous crepuscular use of bioluminescence to attract mates or prey. Fireflies produce a "cold light", with no infrared or ultraviolet frequencies. This chemically produced light from the lower abdomen may be yellow, green, or pale-red, with wavelengths from 510 to 670 nanometers.
About 2,000 species of firefly are found in temperate and tropical environments. Many are in marshes or in wet, wooded areas where their larvae have abundant sources of food. These larvae emit light and often are called "glowworms", in particular, in Eurasia. In the Americas, "glow worm" also refers to the related Phengodidae. In many species, both male and female fireflies have the ability to fly, but in some species, females are flightless.
Fireflies tend to be brown and soft-bodied, often with the elytra (front wings) more leathery than in other beetles. Although the females of some species are similar in appearance to males, larviform females are found in many other firefly species. These females can often be distinguished from the larvae only because they have compound eyes. The most commonly known fireflies are nocturnal, although there are numerous species that are diurnal. Most diurnal species are nonluminescent; however, some species that remain in shadowy areas may produce light.
A few days after mating, a female lays her fertilized eggs on or just below the surface of the ground. The eggs hatch three to four weeks later, and the larvae feed until the end of the summer. The larvae are commonly called glowworms, not to be confused with the distinct beetle family Phengodidae or fly genus Arachnocampa. Lampyrid larvae have simple eyes. The term glowworm is also used for both adults and larvae of species such as Lampyris noctiluca, the common European glowworm, in which only the nonflying adult females glow brightly and the flying males glow only weakly and intermittently.
Fireflies hibernate over winter during the larval stage, some species for several years. Some do this by burrowing underground, while others find places on or under the bark of trees. They emerge in the spring. After several weeks of feeding, they pupate for 1.0 to 2.5 weeks and emerge as adults. The larvae of most species are specialized predators and feed on other larvae, terrestrial snails, and slugs. One such species is Alecton discoidalis, which is found in Cuba. Some are so specialized, they have grooved mandibles that deliver digestive fluids directly to their prey. Adult diet varies. Some are predatory, while others feed on plant pollen or nectar.
Most fireflies are quite distasteful to and sometimes poisonous to vertebrate predators. This is due at least in part to a group of steroid pyrones known as lucibufagins (LBGs), which are similar to cardiotonic bufadienolides found in some poisonous toads.
Light and chemical production
Light production in fireflies is due to a type of chemical reaction called bioluminescence. This process occurs in specialised light-emitting organs, usually on a firefly's lower abdomen. The enzyme luciferase acts on the luciferin, in the presence of magnesium ions, ATP, and oxygen to produce light. Genes coding for these substances have been inserted into many different organisms (see Luciferase – Applications). Firefly luciferase is used in forensics, and the enzyme has medical uses — in particular, for detecting the presence of ATP or magnesium. It has been speculated that Baroque painter Caravaggio may have prepared his canvases with a powder of dried fireflies to create a photosensitive surface on which he projected the image to be painted.
All fireflies glow as larvae. Bioluminescence serves a different function in lampyrid larvae than it does in adults. It appears to be a warning signal to predators, since many firefly larvae contain chemicals that are distasteful or toxic.
Light in adult beetles was originally thought to be used for similar warning purposes, but now its primary purpose is thought to be used in mate selection. Fireflies are a classic example of an organism that uses bioluminescence for sexual selection. They have a variety of ways to communicate with mates in courtships: steady glows, flashing, and the use of chemical signals unrelated to photic systems.
Some species, especially lightning bugs of the genera Photinus, Photuris, and Pyractomena, are distinguished by the unique courtship flash patterns emitted by flying males in search of females. In general, females of the Photinus genus do not fly, but do give a flash response to males of their own species.
Firefly (species unknown) captured in eastern Canada - the top picture is taken with a flash, the bottom only with the self-emitted light
Tropical fireflies, in particular, in Southeast Asia, routinely synchronise their flashes among large groups. This phenomenon is explained as phase synchronization and spontaneous order. At night along river banks in the Malaysian jungles (the most notable ones found near Kuala Selangor), fireflies (kelip-kelip in the Malay language or Bahasa Malaysia) synchronise their light emissions precisely. Current hypotheses about the causes of this behavior involve diet, social interaction, and altitude. In the Philippines, thousands of fireflies can be seen all year-round in the town of Donsol (called aninipot or totonbalagon in Bicol). In the United States, one of the most famous sightings of fireflies blinking in unison occurs annually near Elkmont, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains during the first weeks of June. Congaree National Park in South Carolina is another host to this phenomenon.
Female Photuris fireflies are known for mimicking the mating flashes of other "lightning bugs" for the sole purpose of predation. Target males are attracted to what appears to be a suitable mate, and are then eaten. For this reason sometimes the Photuris species are referred to as "femme fatale fireflies."
Many fireflies do not produce light. Usually these species are diurnal, or day-flying, such as those in the genus Ellychnia. A few diurnal fireflies that inhabit primarily shadowy places, such as beneath tall plants or trees, are luminescent. One such genus is Lucidota. These fireflies use pheromones to signal mates. This is supported by the fact that some basal groups do not show bioluminescence and, rather, use chemical signaling. Phosphaenus hemipterus has photic organs, yet is a diurnal firefly and displays large antennae and small eyes. These traits strongly suggest pheromones are used for sexual selection, while photic organs are used for warning signals. In controlled experiments, males coming from downwind arrived at females first, thus male arrival was correlated with wind direction, indicating males' chemotaxis into a pheromone plume. Males were also found to be able to find females without the use of visual cues, when the sides of test Petri dishes were covered with black tape. This and the facts that females do not light up at night and males are diurnal point to the conclusion that sexual communication in P. hemipterus is entirely based on pheromones.
Firefly systematics, as with many insects, are in a constant state of flux, as new species continue to be discovered. The five subfamilies listed above are the most commonly accepted ones, though others, such as the Amydetinae and Psilocladinae, have been proposed. This was mainly done in an attempt to revise the Lampyrinae, which bit by bit had become something of a "wastebin taxon" to hold incertae sedis species and genera of fireflies. Other changes have been proposed, such as merging the Ototetrinae into the Luciolinae, but the arrangement used here appears to be the most frequently seen and stable layout for the time being. Though most groups appear to be monophyletic, some (e.g., the tribe Photinini) are perhaps better divided.
There seem to be two groups of subfamilies: one containing many American and some Eurasian species in the Lampyrinae and Photurinae, and one, predominantly Asian, made up from the other subfamilies. While the subfamilies as understood here are, in general, monophyletic, there are still a few genera that need to be moved about for the subfamilies to accurately represent the evolutionary relationships among the fireflies.
The Rhagophthalmidae are a glow worm-like lineage of Elateroidea. They have in the recent past usually been considered a distinct family, but it is still disputed as to whether this is correct. Indeed, they might be the only close relative of the puzzling firefly genus Pterotus, which sometimes is placed in a monotypic subfamily.
The genus Phausis, usually placed in the tribe Photinini of the Lampyrinae, might represent another rather distinct lineage instead.
1．Cirrus Digital Firefly Photuris lucicrescens
3．Science Daily: In Fireflies, Flightless Females Lose out On Gifts from Males
5．Eisner, Thomas; Wiemer, David; Haynes, Leroy; Meinwald, Jerrold (1978), Lucibufagins: Defensive steroids from the fireflies Photinus ignitus and P. marginellus (Coleoptera: Lampyridae), The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
6．Caravaggio was early 'photographer'." BBC News. 11 March 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/7936946.stm
7．Stanger-Hall, K.F.; Lloyd, J.E.; Hillis, D.M. (2007), "Phylogeny of North American fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae): implications for the evolution of light signals", Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45 (1): 33–49, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.05.013, PMID 17644427
8．Murray, James D. (2002), Mathematical Biology, I. An Introduction (Third ed.), Springer, pp. 295–299, ISBN 978-0-387-95223-9
11．De Cock, R.; Matthysen, E. (2005), Sexual communication by pheromones in a firefly, Phosphaenus hemipterus (Coleoptera: Lampyridae), Animal Behaviour
・An introduction to European fireflies and glow-worms
・Firefly.org – Firefly & Lightning Bug Facts, Pictures, Information About Firefly Insect Disappearance
・Firefly simulating robot, China
・Fireflies, long-term exposures, Germany
・Museum of Science, Boston – Understanding Fireflies
・Video of a firefly larva in Austria
This page was last modified on 9 June 2013 at 06:50.
What do you think causes the light on a firefly? A French physiologist Raphael Dubois studied the light producing cells of the firefly in the late 19th century (1887), and observed that there are two chemicals that interact to produce the bioluminescence. He discovered that fireflies have a chemical called luciferin (meaning "lucifer" or "light bearing" in Latin), which reacts with another enzyme called luciferase to create the bioluminescence, when air comes through holes in the firefly's abdomen.
Click to Enlarge
Say's firefly (Pyractomena angulata)Credit: Arwin Provonsha,
Purdue Department of Entomology
Thanks to the Firefly
Today, these chemicals are used in research for cancer, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis and heart disease, and they have also led to new technology for flashlights and flares and glow sticks, according to scientists at Purdue and Ohio State.
Did You Know?
The light that the firefly emits is extremely energy efficient. Whereas light bulbs give off only 10% of their energy as light (and 90% as heat), the firefly gives off almost 100% of its energy as light.
It is sometimes called a cold light, since it does not give off much heat.
Share your pics of fireflies here. Whether you have visited and taken pictures of the famous synchronous fireflies of the Selangor River in Malaysia, synchronous flashing of Photinus carolinus in Tennessee & Pennsylvania, or simply snapped pictures of the display in your own back yard. Post your pictures to our online album.
To submit a photo, please email us with your photo. Please no photos over 3MB, and include description of photo including location and date. Photos will be credited.
Photo by: stevendavidjohnson.com
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DATA: 2008/6/18, Optio W30
6月中旬、芦生原生林を流れる由良川源流を遡行中、浅瀬の川底を這うカワニナ (川螺) を見つけました。早速、水中撮影しましたが、カワニナのような巻貝の触角と眼と足の構造をじっくり観察したのは初めてでした。
カワニナは貝殻の先端部 (殻頂、かくちょう) が欠けていますが、これは貝殻を覆う殻皮 (かくひ) が剥がれてしまうと再生できず、溶食されてしまうからです。
DATA: 2008/6/18, Optio W30
DATA: 2008/6/18, EOS 40D, EF16-35mm F2.8L USM
ところで、カワニナと言えば、ホタル (蛍) の幼虫の餌として有名です。日本各地で、ホタルの棲める川の再生を目指した活動の一貫として、他府県で養殖/採取されたカワニナが大量に放流されることがあるのですが、在来種との交雑による遺伝子の攪乱や、生態系のバランスが崩れることによる他の生物の消滅などの問題が起きています。