Firefly (Coleoptera, Coleoptera) is a general term for insects classified into the order Coleoptera (Coleoptera) and the firefly family Lampyridae. It is an insect known for its light emission, and the name firefly has come to be called "fire (ho) shide (ru)" from that, but there are many species that hardly shine.
It is distributed all over the world except for arid areas such as polar regions and deserts, and it is said that more than 2000 species inhabit it. There are aquatic fireflies that spend their larval days underwater and terrestrial fireflies that spend their time in wetlands on land. However, only about 10 types of aquatic fireflies are known in the world, and of these, three types of fireflies, Genji firefly, Heike firefly, and Luciola owadai, inhabit in Japan.
In Japan, "firefly" generally refers to the Genji firefly Luciola cruciata. It is distributed in Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, and emerges from early May in the Kyushu region and from around July in the Tohoku region.
About 50 species of fireflies have been confirmed in Japan, but most of them are distributed in the Nansei Islands. Approximately 9 types of Catamon Minami fireflies are observed.
More than 60 species live in Taiwan, which has descended to the south, and there are also sightseeing events to appreciate fireflies in early summer.
Since adult Genji fireflies occur in early summer, fireflies are regarded as a summer tradition in Japan, and "firefly hunting" is performed to appreciate the luminescence of fireflies at night. In East Asia, including Japan, adult fireflies do not always appear only in summer. For example, Pyrocoelia rufa, a pyrocoelia that is distributed in the Korean Peninsula, China, and Tsushima, develops adults in the fall, as the Japanese name suggests. Rhagophthalmus ohbai, found on Iriomote Island, glows in the middle of winter.
Adults are several to 30 mm long and are small to medium-sized beetles. The body is slender in the front and back, and flat on the back of the abdomen. In particular, the front chest is flat and often covers the head. A common shade is blackish overall and only the front chest is red. Its body is soft as a beetle. When comparing males and females, females are larger. Some females have degenerated wings and cannot fly, and some have the appearance of larvae. The adult period is about 1-2 weeks.
The larvae are slightly flat and elongated. The head can be retracted into the chest. It has three pairs of short legs on the chest and a sucker on the rear end of the abdomen, which moves like an inchworm.
Many species of larvae live on moist forest floors and, depending on the species, differentiate as predators for terrestrial snails such as maimai and clausiliidae and soil animals such as earthworms and millipedes. The three larvae of the Japanese firefly, Luciola lateralis, Luciola lateralis, and Luciola owadaiensis, live in fresh water and prey on freshwater snails such as radix auricularia, kawanina, snail, and snail, but this is rather a minority of all fireflies. (In fact, the fireflies that appear in Fabre's Insects are terrestrial and prey on snails). In addition, it is known that the larvae of Sujiguro firefly usually live on land, but only when feeding, they dive into small springs and trickle waters in the forest and prey on Kawanina. In aquatic species such as Genji firefly and Heike firefly, both larvae and adults have a scent like aquatic plants and watermelons.
Many types of adults have a degenerated mouthpiece, so the mouthpiece will be fragile.