These are tough times for fireflies. Like many other insects, they face an increasing threat of habitat loss, pesticides and pollution. But they also have a problem that is unique to illuminated bugs: they are becoming more difficult to reproduce because light pollution is overturning signals from their confluence.
Fireflies, it turns out, use their special burning power on the court: men get lighter to get a signal of availability and women respond with patterned flashes to show that they’re in the mood. However, bright lights are interfering with billboards, streetlights and houses, and are preventing potential firefighters from pairing.
The problem can be reached far beyond the big cities: bright light can spread to the atmosphere and be reflected in the desert. In addition to messing with the signals of confluence, it also disrupts the eating patterns of some species of females that attract men to eat and eat.
Was part of the quest A study published in the journal Bio Science on Monday.
Researchers from nature researchers at Tufts University and the International Conservation Organization say that fireflies around the world are facing extinction due to multiple threats, including light pollution and habitat depletion and habitat depletion from pesticides and chemical pollution.
Many insects suffer from habitat loss but are particularly bad in fires, says Sara M. Lewis, a biology professor and lead researcher at Tufts. “Some fires are particularly hard to hit when their habitat disappears because they need special conditions to end their life cycle.”
Fireflies are a type of beetle. There are more than 2,000 species of these, mainly found in wetlands. But new surveys show mangrove forests and wetlands around the world are increasingly disappearing for cash crops such as palm oil.
Insects such as fireflies are important to their ecosystem. Their disappearance can destroy food nets, especially for birds and other animals who feed them.
“Insects provide a lot of services,” said John Losey, a professor of entomology at Cornell University, who was not involved in fire research. “They help us suppress predators and insect populations, or they are pollinated and help produce the food we need.”
This study was conducted by a survey of experts from North and Central America, Europe and Asia. The research team discovered that the combustible colonies posed different threats to different regions.
For example, in Japan, the farming and wetland systems called satoyama, where firefighters develop, are disappearing as more people move to cities and abandon traditional timber farming. Drought and floods in central England, exacerbated by climate change, are among the biggest threats. In Malaysia, it’s clear mangrove trees
The study did not specify a timeframe for firefighting, but insects are “continuously lost,” said Michael Reid, a professor of biology and co-author of the study at Tufts.