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2 months ago
Around the world, the firefly illuminates the night with its shimmering body. However, scientists say that this magical scene is endangered - the loss of natural habitats and the use of pesticides and artificial light put at risk of extinction of some of the 2,000 species. The loss of natural habitat leads to a reduction in the number of many species of wild animals and that some scrolls are endangered because they need certain conditions to fulfill the entire life cycle.
One species of firefly from Malaysia (Pteroptyx tener), known for its synchronized lighting, needs mangrove forests and the plants they contain in order to reproduce, but all over Malaysia, mangrove swamps have been turned into palm oil plantations and aquaculture farms. Even more surprising is that scientists have discovered that the use of artificial light at night, which has increased exponentially over the last century, is the second most serious threat to these creatures.
Artificial light includes direct lighting, such as street lighting and advertisements, as well as light pollution, diffused light that spreads outside urban centers and can be brighter than a full moon. In addition to disturbing the natural biorhythm - including human - light pollution creates a serious disturbance in the mating rituals of fireflies. The light of fireflies is created in the stomach of this insect, ie. in the lower part of his stomach, which contains cells called photocytes. Two chemicals in photocytes, luciferin and luciferase, react with each other and release energy.
Each type of scroll has its own twinkling rhythm, so that males and females are sure to enter into contact with a member of their species. Some types of lights are able to coordinate the blink, so that a large set of lights turns on and off at the same time.
In Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia, there is the possibility to recreationally watch the spectacular light signals of some types of fireflies. More than 200,000 visitors a year come to watch this phenomenon.