How do Fireflies Glow?


How do Fireflies Glow?

Have you seen fireflies glowing like small light bulbs? Do you know how they glow like flashing LEDs? Here is the answer:

Fireflies produce a kind of chemical reaction in their bodies, which cause the flashing light. This process is known as bioluminescence.

The catalysts like luciferase will glow on oxidation due to organic molecules called luciferin. It is a bioluminescent light emitting enzyme. Light is produced, when luciferase and calcium adenosine triphosphate (ATP) react with oxygen in the presence of luciferin. Fireflies don’t have lungs. They carry oxygen outside the body to the inner cells through a series of smaller tubes called tracheoles.


They can let the light on and off by combining oxygen with the light producing chemicals. This process happens in the light organ of the insect. Light is produced when there is oxygen in the light organ and it disappears when there is no oxygen in it.

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