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The adaptive value of luminescence in Lampyridae

    Raphaël De Cock

Keywords: Ecology, Luminescence functions, Benelux Glow-worm Survey

In Belgium three glow-worm species occur (Lampyris noctiluca, Lamprohiza splendidula and Phosphaenus hemipterus) which differ in activity pattern (diurnal/nocturnal), glowing apparatus and behaviour. This offers a great opportunity to make an extensive comparative study.

The aims of my research:

  • to investigate the occurence and characteristics of glowing in larvae and adults (activity patterns, spectrograms, pulse features, environmental influence).
  • to test theories on functions of larval and adult luminescence (the function in sexual communication is considered sufficiently documented): antipredator behaviour, intra- or interspecific communication (coöperation, competition).
  • to study the importance of light signals and pheromones in the reproductive ecology of the diurnal Phosphaenus hemipterus, which has remained hitherto completely undescribed.

A more extensive version of this research project and photographs are to be found here.

Have you seen a glow-worm, firefly or other lightning bug?
I have decided to start a glow-worm survey for species on the European continent. A version of the form is available in English, Dutch and French if you contact me at the e-mail address below.

Submitted: 26-Jan-99

The contents of this page are the sole responsibility of the person named below.

Raphaël De Cock |

Academic address:
University of Antwerp (UIA)
Group of Animal Ecology
Universiteitsplein 1
B-2610 Wilrijk, BELGIUM

| phone: 00 32 (0)3/820 22 62
fax:  00 32 (0)3/820 22 71

Personal Address:
Edward Pecherstraat 49
B-2000 Antwerp, BELGIUM

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