The Lampyridae are a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged soft-bodied beetles, commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous use of bioluminescence during twilight 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. Some species such as the dimly glowing "blue ghost" of the Eastern US are commonly thought to emit blue light (<490 nanometers), however this is a false perception of their truly green emission light due to the Purkinje effect.
About 2,100 species of fireflies are found in temperate and tropical climates. Many are in marshes or in wet, wooded areas where their larvae have abundant sources of food. Some species are called "glowworms" in Eurasia and elsewhere. The form of the insect which emits light varies from species to species. Sometimes it is the larvae which emit light, sometimes a larviform female, sometimes the eggs emit light. (In the glow worm found in the UK, Lampyris noctiluca, it is the female that is most easily noticed.) In the Americas, "glow worm" also refers to the related Phengodidae. In New Zealand and Australia the term "glow worm" is in use for the luminescent larvae of the fungus gnat Arachnocampa. In many species of fireflies, both male and female fireflies have the ability to fly, but in some species, the females are flightless.
|Male and female of the species Lampyris noctiluca mating|
Fireflies tend to be brown and soft-bodied, often with the elytra, or front wings, more leathery than those of other beetles. Adults can be up to an inch long. 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 the adults have compound eyes, although the latter are much smaller than those of their males and often highly regressed. The most commonly known fireflies are nocturnal, although numerous species are diurnal. Most diurnal species are not luminescent; 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 the 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 on other insects, snails, and worms, 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. Some are so specialized that 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. Some, like the European glow-worm beetle, Lampyris noctiluca, have no mouth.
Most fireflies are quite distasteful to eat and sometimes poisonous to vertebrate predators. This is due at least in part to a group of steroid pyrones known as lucibufagins, which are similar to cardiotonic bufadienolides found in some poisonous toads.
Light production in fireflies is due to a type of chemical reaction called bioluminescence. This process occurs in specialized 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. Gene coding for these substances has been inserted into many different organisms (see Luciferase – Applications). The genetics of firefly bioluminescence, focusing on luciferase, has been reviewed by John Day. Firefly luciferase is used in forensics, and the enzyme has medical uses — in particular, for detecting the presence of ATP or magnesium. All fireflies glow as larvae. In lampyrid larvae, bioluminescence serves a function that is different from that served in adults. It appears to be a warning signal to predators, since many firefly larvae contain chemicals that are distasteful or toxic.
Photic emission in the adult beetle was originally thought to be used for similar warning purposes, but it is now understood that its primary purpose is in mate selection. It has been shown that early larval bioluminescence was adopted in adult fireflies, and was repeatedly gained and lost before becoming fixed and retained as a mechanism of sexual communication in many species. Adult lampyrids have a variety of ways to communicate with mates in courtships: steady glows, flashing, and the use of chemical signals unrelated to photic systems. Chemical signals, or pheromones, are the ancestral form of sexual communication; this pre-dates the evolution of flash signaling in the lineage, and is retained today in diurnally-active species. Signals, whether photic or chemical, allow fireflies to identify mates of their own species. Flash signaling characteristics include differences in duration, timing, color, and repetition, and vary interspecifically and geographically. When flash signals are not sufficiently distinguished between species in a population, sexual selection encourages divergence of signaling patterns.
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 genus Photinus do not fly, but do give a flash response to males of their own species.
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, fireflies synchronize 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 photic signaling patterns of other fireflies for the sole purpose of predation; they often prey upon smaller Photinus fireflies. Target males are attracted to what appears to be a suitable mate, and are then eaten. For this reason, Photuris species are sometimes 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. Non-bioluminescent fireflies use pheromones to signal mates. This is supported by the fact that some basal groups do not show bioluminescence and use chemical signaling, instead. 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, indicating males travel upwind along 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 based entirely 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 Ototretinae 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.
Two groups of subfamilies seem to exist: 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, a few genera still need to be moved 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 whether this is correct is still disputed. Indeed, they might be the only close relative of the puzzling firefly genus Pterotus, which sometimes is placed in a monotypic subfamily.
Fireflies, like many other organisms, are directly affected by land-use change (e.g. loss of habitat area and connectivity), which is identified as the main driver of biodiversity changes in terrestrial ecosystems. Additionally, since fireflies depend on their own light to reproduce  they are also very sensitive to environmental levels of light and consequently to light pollution.
Fireflies are charismatic (which is a rare quality amongst insects) and are easily spotted by non-experts, providing thus good flagship species to attract public attention; good investigation models for the effects of light on nocturnal wildlife; and finally, due to their sensibility and rapid response to environmental changes, good bioindicators for artificial night lighting.
The Fairey Firefly was a British Second World War-era carrier-borne fighter aircraft and anti-submarine aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA). Designed to the contemporary FAA concept of a two-seat fleet reconnaissance/fighter, the pilot and navigator/weapons officer were housed in separate stations. It was superior in performance and firepower to its predecessor, the Fulmar, but entered operational service only towards the end of the war when it was no longer competitive as a fighter. The limitations of a single engine in a heavy airframe reduced its performance, but it proved to be sturdy, long-ranged, and docile in carrier operations.
The Fairey Firefly served in the Second World War as a fleet fighter but in postwar service, although it was superseded by more modern jet aircraft, the Firefly was adapted for other roles, including strike operations and anti-submarine warfare, remaining a mainstay of the FAA until the mid-1950s. UK and Australian Fireflies flew ground attack operations off various aircraft carriers in the Korean War. In foreign service, the type was in operation with the naval air arms of Australia, Canada, India and the Netherlands whose Fireflies carried out a few attack sorties as late as 1962 in Dutch New Guinea.Firefly (Archie Comics)
The Firefly is a fictional comic book character created by Harry Shorten and Bob Wood for MLJ Comics in 1940. He first appeared in Top-Notch Comics #8. Artist Warren King and writer Joe Blair loaned their talents to many of the Firefly's installments.Firefly (DC Comics)
Firefly (Garfield Lynns) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by France Herron and Dick Sprang, he made his debut in Detective Comics #184 (June 1952). Initially portrayed as a criminal who utilized lighting effects to commit robberies, Firefly was later re-imagined as a sociopathic pyromaniac with an obsessive compulsion to start fires following Crisis on Infinite Earths' reboot of the DC Universe in the 1980s. This darker depiction of the character has since endured as one of the superhero Batman's most recurring enemies and belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up his central rogues gallery.Firefly has been featured in various forms of media, including several shows set within the DC animated universe, The Batman cartoon series, The CW's live-action television series Arrow, and the Batman: Arkham video game franchise.Firefly (G.I. Joe)
Firefly is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books and animated series. He is a mercenary who works for the Cobra Organization as a saboteur. He is portrayed by Ray Stevenson in the 2013 film G.I. Joe: Retaliation.Firefly (TV series)
Firefly is an American space Western drama television series which ran from 2002–2003, created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive producer, along with Tim Minear. The series is set in the year 2517, after the arrival of humans in a new star system and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The ensemble cast portrays the nine characters who live on Serenity. Whedon pitched the show as "nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things".The show explores the lives of a group of people, some of whom fought on the losing side of a civil war, who make a living on the fringes of society as part of the pioneer culture of their star system. In this future, the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures. According to Whedon's vision, "nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today".Firefly premiered in the U.S. on the Fox network on September 20, 2002. By mid-December, Firefly had averaged 4.7 million viewers per episode and was 98th in Nielsen ratings. It was canceled after eleven of the fourteen produced episodes were aired. Despite the relatively short life span of the series, it received strong sales when it was released on DVD and has large fan support campaigns. It won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2003 for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series. TV Guide ranked the series at No. 5 on their 2013 list of 60 shows that were "Cancelled Too Soon".The post-airing success of the show led Whedon and Universal Pictures to produce Serenity, a 2005 film which continues from the story of the series, and the Firefly franchise expanded to other media, including comics and a role-playing game.Firefly (dinghy)
The Firefly is a two-sail, one design, wooden or GRP sailing dinghy with no spinnaker, designed by Uffa Fox in 1938. The first four boats from the production line were named Fe, Fi, Fo and Fum. Number one, Fe, is now owned by the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Although designed as a double hander, it was selected as the single handed class for the 1948 Olympics but was subsequently replaced by the Finn class. The class then became popular as a low cost, one design, double hander, as was originally intended, tolerating remarkably well combined weights of 16 to 25 stone (102 to 159 kg).
The Firefly class today has a thriving open events calendar in the UK. The national championships are always held at a sea venue and attracts a very high level of dinghy racing competitors in boats of all ages from all over the country and fleets of 60 entries plus. Away events are held at a number of the top end sailing clubs in the UK including Restonguet, Itchenor, West Kirby, Felixstowe Ferry, Southport, Budworth and Rickmansworth. It has become particularly successful as a team racing boat in the UK, thanks to its high manoeuvrability, easy handling, and low cost. Another benefit is the use of smaller mainsail which enables sailing in stronger winds. The class has become particularly popular for the British Universities Sailing Association team racing events and is used in similar BSDRA events, thus a large number of universities and schools that team race have a fleet of Fireflys, taking advantage of the benefits above.
The Firefly ideal was to produce a one-design dinghy at a low cost; this is why the class celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006 and continues to grow. The Firefly appeals to all ages and is raced by both men and women. A more detailed history will be found on the class association website.Firefly (website)
Firefly.com (1995–1999) was a community website featuring collaborative filtering.Firefly Aerospace
Firefly Aerospace is a private aerospace firm based in Austin, Texas, that develops small and medium-sized launch vehicles for commercial launches to orbit. They are proponents of NewSpace: a movement in the aerospace industry whose objective is to increase access to space through innovative technical advances resulting in a reduction of launch cost and the lessening of regulations and logistical restrictions associated with dependence on national space institutions.The company was formed when former Firefly Space Systems assets were acquired by EOS Launcher in March 2017, which was then renamed Firefly Aerospace. Firefly Aerospace is wholly owned by Noosphere Ventures, the strategic venture arm of Noosphere Global. Firefly Aerospace is now working on the Alpha 2.0 launch vehicle which has a significantly larger payload capability than the previous Alpha developed by Firefly Space Systems. It aims to place a 1,000 kilogram payload into a low Earth orbit and 600 kilogram into a sun-synchronous orbit. The restructured company has about 140 employees.Firefly Alpha
Firefly Alpha (Firefly α) is two-stage orbital expendable launch vehicle developed by the American aerospace company Firefly Aerospace to cover the commercial small satellite launch market. Alpha is intended to provide launch options for both full vehicle and ride share customers.Globe KD6G Firefly
The Globe KD6G Firefly is an American target drone, built by the Globe Aircraft Corporation for operation by the United States Navy during the 1950s and early 1960s.House of 1000 Corpses
House of 1000 Corpses is a 2003 American exploitation horror film written, co-scored and directed by Rob Zombie in his directorial debut. The film stars Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, and Karen Black as members of the Firefly family. Set on Halloween, the film sees the Firefly family torturing and mutilating a group of teenagers who are traveling across the country writing a book. The film explores a number of genres, and features elements of the supernatural. Zombie cited American horror films The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977) as influences on House of 1000 Corpses, as well as other films released during the 1970s.Initially filmed in 2000, House of 1000 Corpses was purchased by Universal Pictures, thus a large portion of it was filmed on the Universal Studios backlots. The film was made with a budget of $7 million. Zombie worked with Scott Humphrey on the score of the film. House of 1000 Corpses featured a graphic amount of blood and gore, and controversial scenes involving masturbation and necrophilia. The project was ultimately shelved by the company prior to its release due to fears of an NC-17 rating. Zombie later managed to re-purchase the rights to the work, eventually selling it to Lions Gate Entertainment. The film received a theatrical release on April 11, 2003, nearly three years after filming had concluded.
Among film critics, House of 1000 Corpses received a generally negative reaction following its release. The film was critically panned, with the film's various side-plots and main cast being criticized by multiple critics. The film earned over $3 million in its opening weekend, and would later go on to gross over $16 million worldwide. Despite its initial negative reception, the film went on to develop a cult following. Zombie later developed a haunted house attraction for Universal Studios Hollywood based on the film. Zombie later directed the film's sequel, The Devil's Rejects (2005), in which the Firefly family are on the run from the police. Additionally, Zombie is also set to be directing 3 from Hell, the sequel to The Devil's Rejects. This would be the final film performance of Dennis Fimple before his death in August 2002. This film was dedicated to his memory.Kampung Kuantan
Kampung Kuantan is a small village in Kuala Selangor, Selangor, Malaysia. Located about 7 kilometres from Kuala Selangor town. One of the famous attractions is Kuala Selangor FirefliesList of Firefly characters
This page lists characters from the television series Firefly.Luciferase
Luciferase is a generic term for the class of oxidative enzymes that produce bioluminescence, and is usually distinguished from a photoprotein. The name was first used by Raphaël Dubois who invented the words luciferin and luciferase, for the substrate and enzyme, respectively. Both words are derived from the Latin word lucifer – meaning lightbringer.
Luciferases are widely used in biotechnology, for microscopy and as reporter genes, for many of the same applications as fluorescent proteins. However, unlike fluorescent proteins, luciferases do not require an external light source, but do require addition of luciferin, the consumable substrate.Photophore
A photophore is a glandular organ that appears as luminous spots on various marine animals, including fish and cephalopods. The organ can be simple, or as complex as the human eye; equipped with lenses, shutters, color filters and reflectors. The bioluminescence can variously be produced from compounds during the digestion of prey, from specialized mitochondrial cells in the organism, called photocytes ("light producing" cells), or, similarly, associated with symbiotic bacteria in the organism that is cultured.
The character of photophores is important in the identification of deep sea fishes. Photophores on fish are used for attracting food or for camouflage from predators by counter-illumination.
Photophores are found on some cephalopods, including firefly squid, the sparkling enope or firefly squid, which can create impressive light displays.Serenity (2005 film)
Serenity is a 2005 American science fiction action film written and directed by Joss Whedon. It is a continuation of Whedon's short-lived 2002 Fox television series Firefly and stars the same cast, taking place after the events of the final episode. Set in 2517, Serenity is the story of the captain and crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The captain and first mate are veterans of the Unification War, having fought on the losing Independent side against the Alliance. Their lives of smuggling and cargo-running are interrupted by a psychic passenger who harbors a dangerous secret.
The film stars Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It was released in North America on September 30, 2005 by Universal Pictures to generally positive reviews and several accolades, including the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, the Prometheus Special Award and the Nebula Award for Best Script, but underperformed at the box office.Sherman Firefly
The Sherman Firefly was a tank used by the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth and Allied armoured formations in the Second World War. It was based on the US M4 Sherman, but fitted with the powerful 3-inch (76.2 mm) calibre British 17-pounder anti-tank gun as its main weapon. Originally conceived as a stopgap until future British tank designs came into service, the Sherman Firefly became the most common vehicle mounting the 17-pounder in the war.
Though the British expected to have their own new tank models developed soon, the previously rejected idea of mounting the 17-pounder in the existing Sherman was eventually accepted, despite initial government resistance. This proved fortunate, as both the Cruiser Mk VIII Challenger and Cruiser Mk VIII Cromwell tank designs experienced difficulties and delays.
After the difficult problem of getting such a large gun to fit in the Sherman's turret was solved, the Firefly was put into production in early 1944, in time to equip Field Marshal Montgomery's 21st Army Group for the Normandy landings. It soon became highly valued, as its gun could almost always penetrate the armour of the Panther and Tiger tanks it faced in Normandy. In recognition of this, German tank and anti-tank gun crews were instructed to attack Fireflies first. Because the Firefly had a visibly longer barrel, crews tried to camouflage it so the tank would look like a normal 75 mm-gun Sherman from a distance. Between 2,100 and 2,200 were manufactured before production wound down in 1945.Slingsby T67 Firefly
The Slingsby T67 Firefly, originally produced as the Fournier RF-6, is a two-seat aerobatic training aircraft, built by Slingsby Aviation in Kirkbymoorside, Yorkshire, England. It has been successfully used by the UK armed forces, where the Royal Air Force used 22 Slingsby T67M260s as their basic trainer between 1995 and 2010, with over 100,000 flight hours flown out of RAF Barkston Heath (Army, Royal Navy and Royal Marines students, who lived on camp at RAF Cranwell) and also RAF Church Fenton (RAF and foreign students were accommodated at RAF Linton on Ouse, and bussed to and from the airfield daily). The Slingsby has also been used by the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force, the Royal Jordanian Air Force (still currently used), and other military training schools around the world for many years. Also, in December 2012, the National Flying Laboratory Centre at Cranfield University  in the UK acquired a T67M260 to supplement its Scottish Aviation Bulldog aerobatic trainer for MSc student flight experience and training.
The Slingsby is a very competent basic trainer and is still operated by many private individuals for standard-level aerobatics training. It was flown by HRH Prince Harry as a basic trainer during his Army Air Corps flying training course, based at RAF Barkston Heath, including his first solo flight in Slingsby T67M260 registration G-BWXG in 2009. Tom Cassells  a British Aerobatic Champion regularly flies his Slingsby Firefly. However, in the mid-1990s, the aircraft became controversial in the United States after three fatal accidents during US Air Force training operations, although an Air Force investigation eventually attributed the accidents primarily to pilot error.