Artificial Light at Night Reduces Flashing in Photinus and Photuris Fireflies During Courtship and Predation

Juan S. Hillón-Salas, Juan D. Pineda-Dueñas, Ana M. Romero-Chacón, Juliana Fonseca-Tellez, Manuela Cardona-Restrepo, Sofía C. Garrido-Villegas, Diego Mejía-Tovar, Camilo Arenas-Ríos, Laia Gaitán-Botero, Zulma S. Barón-Garzón, Andrés F. Robayo-Salek, Harold Pulido-Guarín, Juan J. Ovalle-Barrera, Anyi D. Macías-González, Nicolás Bernal-Guatibonza, Adriana A. Maldonado-Chaparro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Artificial light at night (ALAN) affects species-specific communication in a wide range of nocturnal species, including fireflies (Lampyridae). Fireflies rely on bioluminescent signals for communicating. In this study, we conducted two manipulative field experiments to evaluate the effect of artificial light at night on the flashing activity of male and female neotropical fireflies during courtship and predation. Our results showed a significant reduction in the flashing activity of both males and females exposed to ALAN during courtship and predation. Remarkably, the effect of ALAN on male flashing activity seems to be independent of female flashing activity. In conclusion, ALAN disrupts bioluminescent intraspecific (courtship) and interspecific (predation) communication, which in turn could influence mating success, thus negatively affecting neotropical firefly populations in the long term. Our findings contribute to understanding the challenges faced by neotropical firefly communities in the presence of ALAN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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