In vivo lifetimes of the three color-sectors in bioluminescence emissions of the firefly Luciola praeusta at different temperatures
Bioluminescence emissions from fireflies have been well-studied for over a century. From the apparent features of the emitted light, conclusions have been drawn and hypotheses put forward on the characteristics of the highly efficient light emitting system. The basic emitter oxyluciferin, being chemically unstable, is difficult to study in isolation and, therefore, its analogs have been prepared and analyzed. In this letter, the lifetimes of the excited-state emitter oxyluciferin are measured, and an inference is drawn on the chemiluminescence reaction in vivo. The light from the Indian species of firefly Luciola praeusta contains three color-sectors: green, yellow, and red, and hence three optical filters are used to study time-resolved emissions from these sectors at different temperatures. All the three color-sectors are observed to be temperature sensitive in the time domain. An exponential variation of lifetime with temperature is observed for the emissions in these three regions.