Fireflies are beetles and are locally known as 'kelip-kelip', 'kunang-kunang'
or 'api-api'. Approximately2,000 known firefly species can be found all
over the world and about half are found predominantly in tropical
rainforests. In Malaysia there are many types of fireflies. Fireflies
can be differentiated by their flash pattern, colour of the light,
behavior, size, colour and shape of sexes, larvae, habitat, just to name
a few. There are also daytime fireflies, which do not produce light at
all or some female fireflies that do not even fly.
Fireflies are insects that enjoy humid environments and love moisture.
They thrive in the moist forests, fields, as high as 1500 metres, in
urban parks, near ponds, streams, lakes and rivers. Most fireflies are
nocturnal insects and come out just after sunset.
life-cycle of fireflies begins from the egg, through several larvae
instars, pupates and eventually becomes an adult firefly. Most firefly
larvae live on land but some live in water. The larva is a predator and
eats other small invertebrates like tiny snails and earthworms. It will
secrete a digestive enzyme and then feed on the liquefied innards of the
prey. The adult fireflies never feed as their duty is to mate. The
general life span of the Pteroptyx tener firefly is around 4 to 7
main attraction in the firefly is the light it produces. The colour of
the light varies according to its species. The light is actually the
result of a bio-chemical reaction at the light organs near the end of
its abdomen. The gender can be differentiated by the light organs.
flash patterns of fireflies vary according to their species. 'The light
flashes are a communication tool for mating purposes. The light produced
by fireflies is the most efficient in the world with most of the energy
is released as light, thus being referred to as "cold light".
Fireflies can be found after sunset on tall grasses or leaves. They
begin flashing approximately an hour after sun set. The neighboring
fireflies will copy each other to produce the same flash patterns. The
flashing is strongest during the first 2-3 hours and will gradually
decrease and finally end after sunrise. The end result, the flash
pattern and rate of the neighboring trees are in perfect flash synchrony
and create a magnificent display which is a main attraction to local and