Explore the mystery of “shimmer”

  Fireflies are childhood playmates of many people. Put them in glass bottles, put them in pods, stuff them in pumpkin vines… These are all part of our beautiful childhood memories. As we grow up and live in a city full of tall buildings, we gradually forget about fireflies. As everyone knows, the habitat of fireflies has long been severely damaged, and their populations are rapidly declining across the country. In order to protect these beautiful night elves, a person stood up.
  He is the first firefly doctor in China. Since 2000, Fu Xinhua has devoted himself to the investigation and research of fireflies, discovering and naming a variety of fireflies such as Lei’s firefly, Wuhan firefly, and Qiongyu firefly. In recent years, because of the sharp decrease in the number of fireflies, he has begun to actively participate in the protection of fireflies. Through lectures, writings, photography, etc., he conveys to the public the scientific appreciation of fireflies and the concept of protecting the habitat of fireflies, and established the only firefly environmental protection company in China Organize the “Firefly Nature Conservation Research Center”.
  Fu Xinhua is known as the first person to research and protect fireflies in China. In Dayi Mountain, Xianning, Fu Xinhua created the country’s first firefly protection site-Dayi Mountain Ecological Conservation Park and Rare Aquatic Firefly Breeding Center, protecting the local 22 square kilometers of 17 species and hundreds of millions of fireflies, including 3 species Rare aquatic firefly germplasm resources. He developed an efficient factory breeding system for fireflies, which can breed millions of fireflies every year.
  You may “know something” Firefly
  Firefly mostly in the summer of river, lake, pool, their activities can not do without water. Ninety-five percent of urban residents have never seen fireflies, and they can only be seen at the intersection of urban and rural areas or in the countryside. Therefore, there are not many people who really understand fireflies, and its charm is precisely the luminous body that flashes and dims.
  Since ancient times, people’s awareness and protection of fireflies have been very insufficient. Children put fireflies in bags, tents, and even sleep on their pillows. In fact, putting fireflies in pods or eggshells as lamps will pose a huge threat to their weak lives. Fu Xinhua once said in a lecture: “The legendary’turning corruption into fireflies’ is a fallacy. It wasn’t until Li Shizhen proposed that there are three kinds of fireflies, that the mystery of fireflies was really discovered. Our ancestors’ fine grammar, sparse science, Many people have misunderstandings about fireflies.”
  The luminous device of the firefly is on the ventral surface of the sixth and seventh section of the abdomen. This ventral surface looks gray-white during the day and can only emit light at night. Both male and female fireflies can glow, and the females have a slightly weaker luminosity. How can it shine? Because the light emitting device in the abdomen contains phosphorous luminescent substance and catalytic enzyme, there are some pores on the light emitting device. When air enters, the luminescent substance will oxidize with oxygen under the catalysis of the catalytic enzyme, turning chemical energy into light energy. , So it produces either yellow-green or orange-red light with different brightness. The different colors of fireflies’ luminescence are due to differences in the luminescence and catalytic enzymes they contain. The light emitted by fireflies is cold, and there is no heat.
  There are more than 2,000 kinds of fireflies in the world, and there are about 200 to 300 species in my country. Over the years, Fu Xinhua has traveled to more than half of China for field research and discovered new species of fireflies such as “Wuhan Firefly”, “Lei’s Firefly”, and “Chinese Firefly”, and developed the first set of fireflies capable of flashing frequency in the wild in Asia. A complete set of equipment for tracking, recording, analysis and simulation.
  An accidental encounter, a lifetime action
  ”A boy’s hand fell from the air and caught me. But this stupid guy was obviously scared by me. He didn’t expect me to shine…” Written by Fu Xinhua In his popular science book “The Journey of a Firefly”, he described his first encounter with a firefly in the tone of a firefly. Fu Xinhua said that when he was in graduate school, he learned from his instructor that “this is the larva of fireflies”, and found it magical, and wanted to understand why fireflies glow. When it was out of control, Fu Xinhua simply studied fireflies.
  Fireflies glow for a fixed period of time at night. Between 8 and 12 in the evening in the spring and summer, Fu Xinhua often haunts the fireflies gathering place alone—the sparsely populated wild valley in the mountains, and even breaks into the graveyard. Although he is used to walking alone late at night, Fu Xinhua said: “Sometimes I am scared, mainly lonely.” But the loneliness will disappear with the appearance of fireflies, “Walking, with the yellow and green in the distance The light flashes, and I begin to feel warm. They are my kind.”
  As early as 2006 when he was conducting his doctoral thesis research, Fu Xinhua discovered that the fireflies he raised feed on freshwater snails. “At that time, I found Ley’s firefly larvae in the rice field. At that time, I was thinking, why does it live in the rice field and what is the food?” With this question, Fu Xinhua began to observe Ley’s larva in the laboratory. firefly. By chance, he found that the number of freshwater snails in the experiment box was decreasing. “It must be the firefly larvae who used it as food.” Fu Xinhua thought.
  Conditions at the time did not allow Fu Xinhua to carry out large-scale quantitative experiments. Until 2008, after receiving funding from the National Natural Science Foundation for the first time, Fu Xinhua decided to put the idea of ​​verifying this conclusion into practice. He said: “The National Natural Science Foundation of China has given me a lot of support, and the laboratory has added a lot of test equipment.” In the laboratory of less than 10 square meters, he has raised more than 1,800 fireflies and also raised still water. Three kinds of freshwater snails of different sizes, including snail snails, ring snails and snails, were used in the experiment. In the end, experiments found that firefly larvae like to eat smaller freshwater snails. At the same time, he found that as the larvae of Lei’s larvae grow older, their preying on freshwater snails also changes. Through an electron microscope, Fu Xinhua observed all the details of the functional structure that the larvae prey on. Fu Xinhua, who has been engaged in ecological research for a long time, feels vaguely that the experimental results obtained are of great significance. He said: “These humble freshwater snails happen to be the first host of liver flukes. When carrying out biological control of liver flukes, you can consider using fireflies.” In early 2012, he submitted his paper to the authoritative academic journal “Biological Control” “Fu Xinhua received the paper acceptance letter shortly afterwards, which gave him great motivation. He said: “I will spend my whole life studying Chinese fireflies, to figure out all the species and their behaviors, and to realize the application value of fireflies.”
  Although the outside world has always questioned the value of Fu Xinhua in studying fireflies, he Still looking for fireflies throughout the country for research.
  Firefly Luminescence and bionic technology
  we are familiar with the lights only a fraction of the electrical energy into visible light, most of the rest is wasted as heat, electric light and heat rays harmful to the human eye. So, is there a light source that only emits light without heating? Humans have set their sights on nature.
  In nature, there are many organisms that can emit light, such as bacteria, fungi, worms, molluscs, crustaceans, insects, and fish, and the light emitted by these organisms does not produce heat, so it is also called “cold light.” Fireflies are just one of many luminous creatures. The cold light they emit not only has a high luminous efficiency, but also a relatively high light intensity, and they are generally soft and suitable for human eyes. Therefore, it is a more ideal light.
  Fireflies can directly convert chemical energy into light energy with a conversion efficiency of 100%, while the luminous efficiency of ordinary electric lamps is only 6%. The cold light source made by imitating the light-emitting principle of fireflies can increase the luminous efficiency more than ten times and greatly save energy. People can also use the method of mixing certain chemical substances to obtain luminescence similar to biological light, which can be used as safety lighting.
  Now, Fu Xinhua has started the research on firefly species and biotags in my country, systematically collected firefly germplasm resources in China, independently developed a complete set of instruments and software systems for the recording and analysis of firefly flash signals, and recorded and analyzed common firefly species in my country. The flash communication system provides a research path for the flash courtship and evolution of fireflies. It is Fu Xinhua’s persistence that has laid a solid foundation for the future research work of Firefly.