Unique Fireflies

Unique Fireflies

Title: Fascinating Discoveries: Unveiling the Enigmatic World of Fireflies in Rammale Forest


During their investigative expedition into the secrets of Rammale Forest, a group of environmental journalists stumbled upon a captivating revelation about fireflies. While delving into their ongoing research on these luminous insects, a team of researchers from the  University of Ruhuna came across a peculiar sight – fireflies of a unique variety.


In addition to the enchanting fireflies, the forest floor harbored wingless, alien-like glow worms, locally known as ‘re badulla’ in Sinhala, emitting a mesmerizing glow from their abdomens amidst the leaf litter.

A noteworthy observation made by the team involved witnessing a firefly descending to engage in a mating ritual with one of these glow worms, revealing an unusual mating dynamic within the species.The team  observed a firefly descending to mount a glow worm on the ground. The glowworm is, in fact, the female. So it was a mating that the team observed.

Further investigation identified the species involved as the Diaphanes olivieri firefly, a species not documented in Sri Lanka for over a century. Dr. Dammika Wijekoon, a  scientist from the University of Ruhuna, emphasized the significance of this discovery, noting it as the first recorded sighting of a female of this species in Sri Lanka.



Dr. Wijekoon elucidated on the intricate mechanisms of bioluminescence exhibited by fireflies, shedding light on their unique mating behaviours and the vital role of light patterns in species recognition.

Moreover, the researchers uncovered two previously unknown species, including the endemic Pygoluciola ruhuna, paying tribute to the rich biodiversity of the forest and the University’s contribution to scientific exploration.

With 18 known firefly species in Sri Lanka, the potential for discovering new species remains high, emphasizing the importance of continued research and conservation efforts. Dr. Wijekoon highlighted the detrimental effects of light pollution on firefly populations, urging for greater awareness and conservation initiatives to safeguard these enchanting insects for future generations.


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