How does a glow worm shine

Fireflies: Why Fireflies Shine

With a little luck we will see fireflies pulling glowing circles on some warm June nights! Read how and why the fireflies glow in the dark

Fireflies: The glowing beetles

It is not tall and it is certainly not beautiful. Basically, the little firefly, better known as firefly, is a rather inconspicuous type: ten millimeters in size and brown in color. During the day he sits around on leaves and on the bark of trees. But when night falls, the tiny man transforms into a radiant man: after dark, around 10 p.m., the male spreads his wings, buzzes around - and with his abdomen flashes bright green light into the black of the night.

Why do fireflies glow?

There is chemistry behind this phenomenon. Because thanks to a chemical reaction in its body, the little firefly releases energy that it emits in the form of light. More effectively than any electric light bulb, which "loses" up to 95 percent of its energy as heat when it lights up.

The firefly, on the other hand, converts 98 percent of the energy released in its rear into light. To this day, inventors from all over the world are trying to develop a lamp that is as efficient as a firefly.

Glowing love stories

As an extreme radiator, the male firefly presents some magical light shows on June nights: it flies in calm, circling orbits and flashes and flashes and flashes. After all, the guy wants to end up with the girls, literally: female fireflies have stunted wings and cannot take off. So they sit on the ground or on spikes of grass and do nothing more than wait for their future child to turn on the light.

Then they too let their backside shine, stretch it up and swing it like a lantern until the male has mastered his way through deadly traps like spider webs and arrives at the ground. This is firefly romance!

Only the end of this glowing love story is sad. Because shortly after getting to know each other, the light goes out on the beetles: They die after mating. The female lays her eggs on the ground beforehand. From this larvae develop, from which the next generation of beetles hatch after three years - to brighten up mild June nights again!