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Little firefly

Passionate glow. Actually, fireflies are not worms at all, but beetles. The different species form their own family within the order of beetles, the fireflies.
We call them fireflies or glowworms because the female resembles a worm and because of their special “light cells” on the ventral side of the abdomen.

The Small fireflies (Lamprohiza splendidula), is one of only two species of firefly occurring in Germany and is widespread in the district of Wesel.

Depending on the weather, the small beetles appear earlier or later in the year, but always around Midsummer Day (summer solstice). Then, after dark, the male beetles can be seen as flying luminous dots around hedges, forest edges or gardens, because only they can fly.

The males glow on only two abdominal segments, while the females, which only have wing stumps and are thus flightless, sit among the ground vegetation with their entire abdomen glowing.

If a female sees a male glowing above her, she also begins to glow to attract the male. After mating, the female lays the fertilized eggs and then dies shortly afterwards, just like the males. The larvae feed on small slugs and snails and take almost three years to pupate.

 

But why does the firefly glow?
The decomposition of a complex carboxylic acid called luciferin and the associated enzyme luciferase produce the glow.
Luciferin gets its name from the Latin ,lux' (light) and 'ferre', (carry, bring).
The process of this independent light generation is also called bioluminescence.

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Naturpark High mark
Tourist Info in NaturparkhouseTiergarten Schloss Raesfeld
Tiergarten 1
46348 Raesfeld
Phone: 02865 – 609110
E-mail: np-hohemark@raesfeld.de