See also: fire-fly

English edit

Fireflies in the woods near Nuremberg
A firefly
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Etymology edit

From fire +‎ fly.

Noun edit

firefly (plural fireflies)

  1. (New England, New York, Upper Midwestern US, Western US, Florida) Any beetle of the family Lampyridae, which exhibit bioluminescence during twilight.
    • 2000, Exploring Life Science, 2: Bats—Cave Life, Marshall Cavendish, page 96,
      Fireflies are the best-known insects that produce light. [] Many fireflies use their light to communicate, particularly at mating time when males and females have to get together.
    • 2004, B. V. David, T. N. Ananthakrishnan, “Chapter 20: Bioluminescence”, in General and Applied Entomology, 2nd edition, Tata McGraw-Hill, page 130:
      The luciferins are different in different species and today both the luciferin and luciferase in the firefly are available in the crystalline form.
    • 2007, Lars Olof Björn, Helen Ghiradella, “23: Bioluminescence”, in Lars Olof Björn, editor, Photobiology: The Science of Life and Light, 2nd edition, Springer, page 607:
      Various other luciferase genes, especially the firefly luciferase gene, are also used for the study of gene regulation. [] The classic use of bioluminescence, however, is the use of a luciferin-luciferase mixture from fireflies as an assay for ATP.

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