Photuris//Photinus fireflies


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Photuris//Photinus fireflies

Post by flint » Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:37 pm

I have to give a class presentation on mimicry among fireflies (specifically Photuris males mimicing the calls of other fireflies). If anyone could point me in the direction of some literature regarding this I would GREATLY appreciate it.

beyond that its very interesting and maybe we can get some discussion going:

Fireflies communicate with flashes of light. Female Photuris fireflies can identify the mating calls of male Photinus fireflies. They use this abillity to hunt.... in other words the female Photuris fireflies see the Photinus mating calls and then eat the Photinus male who gave the call. To add another twist the male Photuris fireflies can mimic the mating calls of Photinus males. I am mostly interested in why this would happen and there are four major angles I am looking into right now:

1 - Hunting female Photuris fireflies may be tricked into approaching a Photuris male and then raped.

2 - Photuris males may be able to get the Photuris females attention by giving Photinus calls, and then switch the Photuris female from hunting mode to mating mode.

3 - Photuris males may be demonstrating a favorable trait by mimicing the other fireflies.

4 - Photuris males may be saying "hey Im willing to let you eat me if you mate with me" ~ kamikaze mating a la preying mantis

What do you guys think about these theories regarding male Photuris fireflies mimicking male Photinus fireflies... which are the prey of female Photuris fireflies? (wow that can be confusing)

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