Ever wonder why some firefly flashes are green and some yellow?

In nature, firefly flashes range from green to yellow:

firefly_flash_color

Results of our newly published study suggest that early evening-active species that signal in forested environments evolved yellow flashes because yellow shows up better against green ambient light (the “contrast hypothesis”).

Contrast_hypothesis.png

Hall, D.W., Sander, S.E., Pallansch, J.C. and Stanger‐Hall, K.F., 2016. The evolution of adult light emission color in North American fireflies. Evolution,70(9), 2033-2048.

 

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