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Image #   210383C
Name:   Predator firefly (Photuris sp.)
Copyright:   Copyright 2010 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Description:   Caption: Predator firefly (Photuris sp.). Female Photuris fireflies are known for mimicking the mating flashes of other lightning bugs / 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 color. 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 seem to have evolved independently and eventually adapted to those of their prey. The flashes of light are used to attract mates only for predation. The production of light by an organism is known as bioluminescence. There are 2,000 species of firefly found in temperate and tropical environments.
Magnification*: x9
Type: SEM
    *(Magnifications are based on a 35mm slide image of 24mm in the narrow dimension.)
Keywords:   210383C 10.01.10 insects insect firefly fireflies lightning beetle lightning beetles lightning bug lightning bugs beetle Eastern firefly common Eastern firefly big dipper firefly Photinus predator predator type North American firefly luciferase Coleoptera SEM femme fatale femme fatale fireflies femme fatale firefly Photuris Pyralis firefly Lampyridae North American fire flies North American fire fly North American fireflies antenna antennae bioluminesence common fire flies common fire fly common fireflies common firefly compound eye fire flies fire fly firefly head mouthpart mouthparts ommatidia ommatidium thorax attraction insect attraction insect mating mating mating attraction luciferin beetles invertebrate invertebrates predator firefly predator fireflies abdomen glow rover fireflies rover firefly eastern firefly claw leg claw leg tarsi leg tarsus pulvillar pad tarsi tarsus pulvillus pulvilli tenent seta tenent setae mating mimicry mimicry

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