From captivity to conservation: A technique for rearing the aquatic firefly, Luciola brahmina in Thailand
Anchana Thancharoen, email@example.com, Visut Baimai, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Marc A. Branham, MABranham@ifas.ufl.edu2. (1) Mahidol University, Biology, Rama VI, Phayathai, Bangkok, Thailand, (2) University of Florida, Entomology & Nematology, Natural Area Drive, P.O. Box 110620, Gainesville, FL
Luciola brahmina (Bourgeois) (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) is a common firefly species associated with freshwater and possesses a wide distribution across Thailand. At present, this species is subjected to many negative impacts associated with human activity and urbanization, resulting in decreasing numbers and populations disappearing from many habitats. Thus, the development of rearing techniques for this firefly was initiated in order to study this organismís life history for application to the conservation of this species. Under laboratory conditions, female fireflies were found to oviposit 400-600 eggs under leaves of the aquatic plant, Spirodella sp. After hatching, the 6 larval instars feed on golden apple snails, Pomacea canaliculata, which are common, invasive snails in Thailand. The last pre-imaginal instars climb out of the water and pupate underground in earthen cells, and emerge as adults. Development takes about 3-4 months in captivity. The developed rearing technique was not only useful for maintaining a complete life cycle for many generations, but also offers a great opportunity for observing the duration and development of each instar, feeding habits and other biological data useful for successful re-introductions and the conservation of this species.