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Firefly Larva - Family Lampyridae *Disclaimer: I moved this larva from under a log and placed it on this leaf to take a photo. I put it back in its original location afterwards. It slept through the whole thing...<br />
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These beetle larvae look like prehistoric armored insects. They have flattened dorsal segments that extend to the back and sides, like overlapping plates. Their pink and white ventral surface is more fleshy and contains a glow organ with photocytes (light cells) at the end of their abdomens, which create bioluminescent light. So, how does a beetle larva&#039;s bum become a light beacon? Here&#039;s how - the light cells need several ingredients in order to make light. They need luciferin, ATP, and luciferase. Luciferase is an enzyme that causes the luciferin to produce light, and ATP provides the energy to drive the chemical reaction. Interestingly, these ingredients are always present in the glow organ, but it doesn&#039;t always glow because oxygen is required for the chemical reaction to occur. No oxygen = no reaction. No reaction = no light. The firefly larvae control the oxygen supply, so when they need to glow again, they simply feed oxygen to their glow organ, and voil&aacute;&mdash;it creates light. <br />
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Habitat: Under a log in a wooded backyard<br />
<figure class="photo"><a href="https://www.jungledragon.com/image/76750/firefly_larva_-_family_lampyridae.html" title="Firefly Larva - Family Lampyridae"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.jungledragon.com/images/3232/76750_thumb.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=05GMT0V3GWVNE7GGM1R2&Expires=1564012810&Signature=Ln7mxKM90CZ2Vfzm3d6xRgf4Row%3D" width="200" height="154" alt="Firefly Larva - Family Lampyridae *Disclaimer: I moved this larva from under a log and placed it on this leaf to take a photo.  I put it back in its original location afterwards. It slept through the whole thing...<br />
<br />
These beetle larvae look like prehistoric armored insects. They have flattened dorsal segments that extend to the back and sides, like overlapping plates. Their pink and white ventral surface is more fleshy and contains a glow organ with photocytes (light cells) at the end of their abdomens, which create bioluminescent light. So, how does a beetle larva&#039;s bum become a light beacon? Here&#039;s how - the light cells need several ingredients in order to make light. They need luciferin, ATP, and luciferase. Luciferase is an enzyme that causes the luciferin to produce light, and ATP provides the energy to drive the chemical reaction. Interestingly, these ingredients are always present in the glow organ, but it doesn&#039;t always glow because oxygen is required for the chemical reaction to occur. No oxygen = no reaction. No reaction = no light. The firefly larvae control the oxygen supply, so when they need to glow again, they simply feed oxygen to their glow organ, and voil&aacute;&mdash;it creates light. <br />
<br />
Habitat: Under a log in a wooded backyard<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/76751/firefly_larva_-_family_lampyridae.html Geotagged,United States,Winter,beetle larva,firefly,firefly larva,lampyridae,larva" /></a></figure> Geotagged,United States,Winter Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Firefly Larva - Family Lampyridae

*Disclaimer: I moved this larva from under a log and placed it on this leaf to take a photo. I put it back in its original location afterwards. It slept through the whole thing...

These beetle larvae look like prehistoric armored insects. They have flattened dorsal segments that extend to the back and sides, like overlapping plates. Their pink and white ventral surface is more fleshy and contains a glow organ with photocytes (light cells) at the end of their abdomens, which create bioluminescent light. So, how does a beetle larva's bum become a light beacon? Here's how - the light cells need several ingredients in order to make light. They need luciferin, ATP, and luciferase. Luciferase is an enzyme that causes the luciferin to produce light, and ATP provides the energy to drive the chemical reaction. Interestingly, these ingredients are always present in the glow organ, but it doesn't always glow because oxygen is required for the chemical reaction to occur. No oxygen = no reaction. No reaction = no light. The firefly larvae control the oxygen supply, so when they need to glow again, they simply feed oxygen to their glow organ, and voilá—it creates light.

Habitat: Under a log in a wooded backyard

Firefly Larva - Family Lampyridae *Disclaimer: I moved this larva from under a log and placed it on this leaf to take a photo.  I put it back in its original location afterwards. It slept through the whole thing...<br />
<br />
These beetle larvae look like prehistoric armored insects. They have flattened dorsal segments that extend to the back and sides, like overlapping plates. Their pink and white ventral surface is more fleshy and contains a glow organ with photocytes (light cells) at the end of their abdomens, which create bioluminescent light. So, how does a beetle larva's bum become a light beacon? Here's how - the light cells need several ingredients in order to make light. They need luciferin, ATP, and luciferase. Luciferase is an enzyme that causes the luciferin to produce light, and ATP provides the energy to drive the chemical reaction. Interestingly, these ingredients are always present in the glow organ, but it doesn't always glow because oxygen is required for the chemical reaction to occur. No oxygen = no reaction. No reaction = no light. The firefly larvae control the oxygen supply, so when they need to glow again, they simply feed oxygen to their glow organ, and voilá—it creates light. <br />
<br />
Habitat: Under a log in a wooded backyard<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/76751/firefly_larva_-_family_lampyridae.html Geotagged,United States,Winter,beetle larva,firefly,firefly larva,lampyridae,larva

    comments (6)

  1. What a subject! This is such a cool find, they should call this one superbum! Posted 2 months ago
    1. Ha! Flashing Superbum would be a great name for it... Posted 2 months ago
  2. WOAHHHHH! <3 <3 Posted 2 months ago
    1. Pretty, right?! Too bad the shot is blurry ;P Posted 2 months ago
      1. It isn't THAT blurry! :D Posted 2 months ago
        1. Haha, thanks for that ;P

          But, it's more blurry than I would like.
          Posted 2 months ago

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By Christine Young

All rights reserved
Uploaded Mar 29, 2019. Captured Dec 29, 2018 10:55 in 31 Ferncrest Ave, Coventry, RI 02816, USA.
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • f/5.6
  • 1/64s
  • ISO400
  • 100mm