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Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights have been recognized for their contribution to firefly research in The American Naturalist, a leading scientific journal published for the American Society of Naturalist by the University of Chicago Press,.

While fireflies are fun to watch as they flash, flicker, and fade on a warm summer's evening, they are also the focus of scientific research. Fireflies also know as lightning bugs, are one of a small number of species that create their own bioluminescence. Learning more about how and why these tiny creatures flash signals to each other is the subject of ongoing scientific research, and Firefly Magic® Firefly Lights are there to help.

The scientific paper title, "Energy and Predation Costs of Firefly Courtship Signals" published in Volume 170, Number 5 of The American Naturalist, was authored by William A. Woods Jr., Holly Hendrickson, Jennifer Mason, and Sara M. Lewis, Professor, Department of Biology, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts.

The subject of this research study was animal courtship signals, specifically a comprehensive assessment of signal (flashing) cost for Photinus fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae), using controlled experiments to measure both the energy and predation costs associated with their bioluminescent courtship signals.

To successfully conduct the research, Dr. Lewis required reliable artificial fireflies that would exactly mimic the flash patterns of the Photinus Greeni firefly. Dr. Lewis contacted Stephen Taylor, inventor of Firefly Magic® Firefly lights, and patent holder on the methodology of using microprocessors to recreate accurate firefly flash patterns. Her objective was to obtain a device that would correctly reproduce the unusual flash pattern of the Photinus Greeni.

Taylor designed and built the units described by the researchers in the study as follows: "We used battery-powered microprocessors to drive 565nm LEDs (Lampyridae Lures, Firefly Magic, Apple Valley, CA) that were programmed to accurately simulate the typical mating signals produced by P. greeni males (paired 100-ms pulses separated by a 1,200-ms interpulse interval).

At the end of the Study, the following acknowledgement was listed: "We thank S. Taylor at Firefly Magic (http://www.fireflymagic.com) for providing us with Lampyridae Lures . . ."

In recognition of the importance of Firefly research, Stephen Taylor and Firefly Magic® donated both the development time and research firefly lures to Tufts University.

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Kimberley Roberts
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