Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 2119–2126 | Cite as

The ecological impact of an introduced population on a native population in the firefly Luciola cruciata (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)

  • Yutaka IguchiEmail author
Original Paper


In Japan, Tatsuno Town has been famous for many Luciola cruciata fireflies emerging every summer at least since the 1920s. However, in the 1960s, L. cruciata fireflies were intentionally introduced from the Lake Biwa area into Matsuo-kyo, the most famous habitat of fireflies in that town. In this study, I examined ambient temperatures and flash rates of L. cruciata at four sites including Matsuo-kyo in the Tatsuno area and two sites in the Lake Biwa area. The linear regression of flash rates on temperatures indicated that the Matsuo-kyo population was distinct from the other three populations native to the Tatsuno area, but similar to the two populations native to the Lake Biwa area in terms of flash rates. These results were also supported by a recent molecular biological study, suggesting that the introduced fireflies had a strong ecological impact on the native ones at Matsuo-kyo. The present study emphasizes that we should not transport and release L. cruciata fireflies without careful consideration.


Luciola cruciata Tatsuno town Introduced fireflies Native fireflies Flash rate Temperature 



I am grateful to Professor Hideo Kusaoke for providing published and unpublished data on the mitochondrial DNA of L. cruciata.


  1. Buck J, Buck E (1966) Biology of synchronous flashing of fireflies. Nature 211:562–564. doi: 10.1038/211562a0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carlson AD, Copeland J, Raderman R et al (1976) Role of interflash intervals in a firefly courtship (Photinus macdermotti). Anim Behav 24:786–792. doi: 10.1016/S0003-3472(76)80009-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hiyori Y, Mizuno T, Kusaoke H (2007) The influence of an intentionally introduced population on the genetic structure of a native population in the Genji-firefly Luciola cruciata. Zenkoku Hotaru Kenkyukai-shi 40:25–27 (an annual journal of the Japan Association for Fireflies Research)Google Scholar
  4. Iguchi Y (2002) The influence of temperature on flash interval in the Genji-firefly Luciola cruciata (Coleoptera: Lampyridae). Ent Rev Jpn 57:119–122Google Scholar
  5. Iguchi Y (2003) History of the introduction of the Genji-firefly at Matsuo-kyo, Tatsuno-machi, Nagano prefecture. Zenkoku Hotaru Kenkyukai-shi 36:13–14 (an annual journal of the Japan Association for Fireflies Research)Google Scholar
  6. Iguchi Y (2006) The interflash interval of the Genji-firefly in Tatsuno town, Nagano prefecture. Zenkoku Hotaru Kenkyukai-shi 39:37–39 (an annual journal of the Japan Association for Fireflies Research)Google Scholar
  7. Katsuno S (1968) The breeding of fireflies in Tatsuno. Konchu to Shizen 3:13–17 (The Nature and Insects)Google Scholar
  8. Kubunden M (1997) Relationship between air temperature and flash interval in the Genji-firefly Luciola cruciata in the Kuroda-gawa district. Kamo to hotaru no machi 7:13–96 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  9. Lee CE (2002) Evolutionary genetics of invasive species. Trends Ecol Evol 17:386–391. doi: 10.1016/S0169-5347(02)02554-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lewis SM, Cratsley CK (2008) Flash signal evolution, mate choice, and predation in fireflies. Annu Rev Entomol 53:293–321. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ento.53.103106.093346 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lewis SM, Cratsley CK, Demary K (2004) Mate recognition and choice in Photinus fireflies. Ann Zool Fenn 41:809–821Google Scholar
  12. Lloyd JE (1966) Studies on the flash communication system in Photinus fireflies. Univ Mich Misc Publ 130:1–95Google Scholar
  13. Lloyd JE (2000) On research and entomological education IV: quantifying mate search in a perfect insect—seeking true facts and insight (Coleoptera: Lampyridae, Photinus). Fla Entomol 83:211–228. doi: 10.2307/3496340 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ludsin SA, Wolfe AD (2001) Biological invasion theory: darwin’s contributions from The Origin of Species. Bioscience 51:780–789. doi: 10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0780:BITDSC]2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mitsuishi T (1990) Genji botaru (The Genji firefly). The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun, Nagano (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  16. Ohba N (1988) Genji Botaru (The Genji firefly). Bun-ichi Sogo Press, Tokyo (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  17. Ohba N (2001) Geographical variation, morphology and flash pattern of the firefly, Luciola cruciata (Coleoptera: Lampyridae). Sci Rept Yokosuka City Mus 48:45–89 (in Japanese with English summary)Google Scholar
  18. Ohba N (2004) Flash communication systems of Japanese fireflies. Integr Comp Biol 44:225–233. doi: 10.1093/icb/44.3.225 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sasai S (1999) Relationship between air temperatures and flash intervals in the Genji-firefly Luciola cruciata. Zenkoku Hotaru Kenkyukai-shi 32:22–25 (an annual journal of the Japan Association for Fireflies Research)Google Scholar
  20. Suzuki H (1997) Molecular phylogenetic studies of Japanese fireflies and their mating systems (Coleoptera: Cantharoidea). Tokyo Metro Univ Bull Nat Hist 3:1–53Google Scholar
  21. Suzuki H (2001) Studies on biological diversity of firefly in Japan. Int J Indust Entomol 2:91–105Google Scholar
  22. Takeda M, Amano T, Katoh K et al (2006) The habitat requirement of the Genji-firefly Luciola cruciata (Coleoptera: Lampyridae), a representative endemic species of Japanese rural landscapes. Biodivers Conserv 15:191–203. doi: 10.1007/s10531-004-6903-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tamura M, Yokoyama J, Ohba N et al (2005) Geographic differences in flash intervals and pre-mating isolation between populations of the Genji firefly, Luciola cruciata. Ecol Entomol 30:241–245. doi: 10.1111/j.0307-6946.2005.00683.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Vencl FV (2004) Allometry and proximate mechanisms of sexual selection in Photirtus fireflies, and some other beetles. Integr Comp Biol 44:242–249. doi: 10.1093/icb/44.3.242 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wilcove DS, Rothstein D, Dubow J et al (1998) Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. Bioscience 48:607–615. doi: 10.2307/1313420 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zar JH (1996) Biostatistical analysis, 3rd edn. Prentice Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of BiologyOkayaJapan

Personalised recommendations