Every night these little creatures put on an amazing display for me right outside my door. Such talented little light artists, it always amazes me how
they seem to synchronize their performance perfectly with the symphony of sounds from the other animals of the night. Each night I sit and watch my
own personal light show, and listen to the musical score of the frogs and crickets in wondrous delight. It is such a beautiful thing. And today I felt
that maybe it was time to let others know of the beauty behind the lightning bug...
Estimated to be between 128-145 million
years old..lightning bugs
have gone through periods of ..well..not being lightning bugs. According to
study, it has been proposed that fireflies have had 2-3
losses of Bioluminescence and 6-7 gains with regards to adult Lampyridae. But even now, some species do not have the capability to glow. In the
United States for instance, species found in the west are most likely not luminescent. They would rely on scent/pheromones instead of visual to
attract their mates, while both scent and sight are used in the mating rituals of the bugs on the east side of the continent...with many variations of
the two combinations found in between and on other continents as well.
Symbolic meanings of Fire Flies:
Hope, Energy, Guidance, Patience, New Ideas, Efficiency, Creativity, Attraction, Awakening, Aspiration, Inspiration, and Illumination
When fireflies come into our lives they are there to guide us to ways of living that are more earth-friendly, and soul-friendly. Fireflies teach us
the value of living simply, and relying on our own inner voices for illumination. Fireflies also come to us with a message of creativity, and remind
us that our paths are made lighter by the beauty that we allow into our lives.
The Legend of The First Firefly
From then on, every time the fireflies wanted to go out during the dark night they would each bring with them these small torches of fire then come
out together to roam leisurely around the bushes, fluttering from one sampaguita plant to another. That was how and why the fireflies today have light
at the end of their tails. more
The Adze is a vampiric being from Ewe folklore in Togo and Ghana. It normally looks like a firefly, but it will transform into human shape when
captured. In its human form, the Adze has the power to possess ordinary humans and turn them into witches.
The Chinese thought these twinkling little creatures came from burning grass.
A European legend warned that if a lightning bug flew in the window, someone was going to die.
Aztecs used the term firefly metaphorically, meaning a spark of knowledge in a world of ignorance or darkness.
American Indians collected lightning bugs and smeared them as decorations on their faces and chest.
In Japan, the firefly’s mystical light has been a metaphor for passionate love in poetry and “Their eerie lights are also thought to be the
altered form of the souls of soldiers who have died in war”
The scientific name for the compound that helps fireflies light up is luciferin, which comes from the Latin word lucifer, meaning light bearing.
Five chemicals--adenosine triphosphate, luciferin, oxygen, magnesium and luciferase--are bound up in the firefly`s abdomen by a chemical enzyme.
When nerve stimulations release another chemical, inorganic pyrophosphate, the bond breaks and the reaction produces light on the sides of the
insect`s abdomen. more
The firefly light is the most efficient light ever made, using close to 100% of the energy created from the chemical reaction. Our man made light bulb
only uses 10% of the energy as light, the rest lost in heat. Yep...nature still does it better than us...
The light of a Firefly is called a cold light or a light that does not expel heat. If my understanding is correct, the beetle (yes, they are
classified as beetles, not insects) can emit the light by taking in oxygen which is then mixed with a chemical called luciferase. The beetle can
control the amount of oxygen and the length of time the light "glows" on its own.
In the medical field doctors have been using the light from lightning bugs to find tumors, track viruses, and quite possibly, could be one cure for
some types of cancers. So, it has far reaching potentials that still have yet to be found.
In a new study, researchers from London inserted the firefly gene that activates bioluminescent light into modified cancer cells, hoping to set
off a chain of events that has a proven track record at fighting the disease. This light source, known as Luciferin, caused the modified cancer cells
to glow much like it does with the firefly. When a photosensitizing agent was added, the combination proved lethal.
"The cells produced enough light to trigger their own death," said Dr. Theodossis Theodossiou of the National Medical Laser Centre,
Plenty more to be found on this little creature..they are mentioned in a lot of folklore and superstitions. But one of the saddest things I read about
this beetle is that their numbers are dwindling. You see, a lightning bug doesn't migrate, and if we, as humans, decide to develop a plot of land that
they reside in, they do not just go find somewhere else to live...they cease to exist in that area.
So, this little light that shines so bright, shines no more every time we decide we need a new parking lot or convenience store and take away their
natural living environment in order to make one..a sad thing really, when we think of how much they have given to us and our cultures, plus how much
they still have to offer by way of medical research and advances..
Thanks for reading,
12 things ya didn't know
The Magic and Folklore of Fireflies
How bioluminescence works
How fireflies evolved their glow
edit on 18-8-2016 by blend57 because: (no
edit on 18-8-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)