Small Animals

Why do fireflies glow?

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Fireflies are the Glow Pro! The reason they're able to glow is that they contain a special chemical that allows them to shine. The chemical has a funny name: Lucibufagens!"¨(Or, sometimes, luciferins.)

When a firefly inhales air into its body, it reacts with the lucibufagens to make light! Being able to glow has several benefits for fireflies. One thing it helps them with is scaring off animals who might try to eat them. The lucibufagen chemical makes a firefly taste yucky, so an animal who has tried a Firefly Dinner before will learn to stay away. Fireflies also use their glowing light to communicate and blink out certain messages! One thing this helps them with is attracting a mate: Different types of fireflies glow in different ways, so each firefly looks the glow of the kind of mate it needs! - Shine on!