firefly

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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. 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, General and Applied Entomology, Tata McGraw-Hill, 2nd Edition, 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, Lars Olof Björn (editor), Photobiology: The Science of Life and Light, Springer, 2nd Edition, 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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