16 February 2011


I learnt some interesting facts about fireflies in Singapore:
  • there are more than 10 species and they can be found in several habitats, such as mangroves, secondary forests etc
  • of this, there are at least 5 new species not recorded
  • more than 1 species can occur in a single habitat
  • usually they are higher in diversity but low in numbers or higher in numbers but low in diversity in these habitats
  • the fireflies here do not blink in synchrony or unison unlike those found elsewhere
  • the males have 2 lanterns while the female have only 1 lantern on their underside of the abdomen nearer the tail end
  • their life cycle is up to about 6 months (longer than butterflies!) and they go through the same stages as butterflies e.g. eggs, larvae, pupae, adults, and the adult stage is only about a month or two
  • the carnivorous larvae feeds on snails whilst the adults feed on plant nectar and pollen
  • the larvae are found more inlands in pools of water whereas the adults are found nearer the coast
  • the light emission serves as a warning against predators not to feed on them because they are distasteful or contain toxins but it is also evolved for mating purposes
This is a huge lesson and I have a profound respect for such small creatures. Links on fireflies are shown below: