Parasites, predators and defence of fireflies and glow-worms

Day, John C.. 2011 Parasites, predators and defence of fireflies and glow-worms. Lampyrid, 1. 70-102.

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It has been argued that bioluminescence in fireflies and glow-worms (Lampyridae) presents a conspicuous signal to attract potential predators. If correct, luminescence should be naturally selected against; however this appears not to be the case. To counter this constant threat insects have developed a range of defensive mechanisms, either active or passive, that protect them from the threat of predation. Fireflies and glow-worms are no exception and it has been argued that defence mechanisms may in fact be enhanced by luminescence. This review examines a range of defence mechanisms identified in lampyrids including thanatosis or death feigning; camouflage or crypsis; chemical defence and aposematism. The predators, parasites and pathogens that seem to overcome these defences are highlighted: including large numbers of endosymbionts associated with lampyrids; beetle parasitoids; phorid flies and the Photuris ‘femme fatale’ fireflies.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment > BD - 2.2 - Quantify the impact of invasive species, pathogens ...
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hails
ISSN: 2041-4900
Additional Keywords: parasitism, predation, endosymbionts, molicutes, Wolbachia, lucibufagins, entomopathogens
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 07 Apr 2011 11:45 +0 (UTC)

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