Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 819–827

Demography of the Heike firefly Luciola lateralis (Coleoptera: Lampyridae), a representative species of Japan’s traditional agricultural landscape



Populations of the Heike firefly, Luciola lateralis, a representative species of Japan’s traditional agricultural landscape (known as satoyama), have recently experienced rapid declines in many areas of Japan. Owing to the popularity of this firefly, many local communities have increased conservation efforts through the restoration of aquatic habitat complexes in satoyama. To provide fundamental parameters to predict population dynamics of the firefly, we conducted a mark–recapture study in restored paddy fields, and we estimated adult population parameters such as population size, survival, recruitment, sex ratio, and body size. We found that capture probability generally decreased as the season advanced, probably because of seasonal changes in detectability and/or firefly behavior. The daily survival rate of adults decreased over the season and may be related to a seasonal decline in adult body size. Adult population exhibited a highly male-biased sex ratio. Firefly abundance in the restored paddy fields doubled during the 4-year study period. Our analysis showed that adult detectability, recruitment, and survival rate are seasonally variable and could affect population size estimates obtained by a simple flash census. The mark–recapture technique can provide precise estimates of adult L. lateralis population characteristics and, thus, is a valuable method for predicting firefly populations and assessing the success of the restoration program.


Mark–recapture Population size Rice paddy field Satoyama Aquatic insects Japan 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinsaku Koji
    • 1
  • Akinori Nakamura
    • 1
  • Koji Nakamura
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Regional CollaborationKanazawa UniversityKakuma, KanazawaJapan
  2. 2.Division of Biodiversity, Institute of Nature and Environmental TechnologyKanazawa UniversityKakuma, KanazawaJapan

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