Fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)
Fireflies occur on all continents except Antarctica, and are best known for the biochemical light they emit. In some regions of North America the common flashing species are known as lightningbugs; in rural Jamaica fireflies are called blinkies but in Kingston they are peenywallies; in Latin America they are luciernaga; in Japan hotaru; in Great Britain and northern Europe, including Hamlet’s Denmark (Act 1, Scene V), the single or more common resident species Lampyris noctiluca(L.) is known as “the glowworm” (“Glühwürmchen”); and in New Guinea pidgin they are “binatang em i gat lait bilong as.” Fireflies appear in folk culture and tradition old and recent around the world: an Asian myth relates a burning grass origin, and one from Europe says that if a glowworm enters the house it warns of impending infant death; in colonial Hispanic America fireflies were used and subsequently outlawed as signals for romanti c trysts (this is more commonly told of luminescent click beetles, family...
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