Bioluminescence emissions of the fireflyLuciola praeustaKiesenwetter 1874 (Coleoptera: Lampyridae: Luciolinae)

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Abstract

We recorded the in vivo emission and time-resolved spectra of the firefly Luciola praeusta Kiesenwetter 1874 (Coleoptera: Lampyridae: Luciolinae). The emission spectrum shows that the full width at half maximum (FWHM) value for this particular species is 55 nm, which is significantly narrower than the in vivo half-widths reported till now. The time-resolved spectrum reveals that a flash of about 100 ms duration is, in fact, composed of a number of microsecond pulses. This suggests that the speed of the enzyme-catalysed chemiluminescence reaction in the firefly for the emission of light is much faster than was previously believed.

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