Culture And Literature

The Aztecs combined science and humanities with a firefly: "'A firefly in the night' the Nahuas called their songs: a tiny light in a great darkness, a little truth within the ignorance surrounding them." It is a culturally impoverished American who has not heard of Wah-wah-taysee, the firefly in a memorized passage from Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha or does not know where to find reference to a glowworm in Hamlet, or what Robert Frost said about fireflies, or what a glowworm did for the Mills Brothers. There are firefly books in English for children, but nothing to compare with the literature available in Japan, especially in connection with the Yokosuka City Museum and their dynamic firefly program.

See Also the Following Articles

Chemical Defense • Coleoptera • Mating Behaviors • Mimicry Further Reading

Eisner, T., Goetz, M. A., Hill, D. E., Smedley, S. R., and Meinwald, J. (1997). Firefly "femmes fatales" acquire defensive steroids (lucibufagins) from their firefly prey. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94, 9723-9728. Ghiradella, H. (1998). The anatomy of light production: The fine structure of the firefly lantern. In "Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates," Vol. 11A, pp. 363-381. Wiley-Liss, New York. Harvey, E. N. (1952). "Bioluminescence." Academic Press, New York. Harvey, E. N. (1957). "A History of Luminescence." Am. Philos. Soc., Philadelphia.

Herring, P. (ed.) (1978). "Bioluminescence in Action." Academic Press, New York.

Lloyd, J. E. (1979). Sexual selection in luminescent beetles. In "Sexual Selection and Reproductive Competition in Insects" (M. Blum and A. Blum, eds.). Academic Press, New York. Lloyd, J. E. (1983). Bioluminescence and communication in insects. Annu.

Rev. Entomol. 28, 131-60. Lloyd, J. E. (1997). Firefly mating ecology, selection and evolution. In "Mating Systems in Insects and Arachnids" (J. C. Choe and B. J. Crespi, eds.), Chap. 10. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Sivinski, J. (1981). The nature and possible functions of luminescence in coleoptera larvae. Coleoptera Bull. 35, 167-180. Wickler, W. (1968). "Mimicry in Plants and Animals." McGraw-Hill, New York.

Wood, K. V. (1995). The chemical mechanism and evolutionary development of beetle bioluminescence. Photochem. Photobiol. 62(4), 662-673.

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