Follow these links for videos related to selected research
projects in our lab:
Light Snacks: Predation on Fireflies
This study described some common predators on the famous
synchronous fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains
Tennessee. The Light Show is a popular seasonal attraction
created by thousands of courting male Photinus carolinus
fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) that flash in synchrony
tolocate females. We describe some new predators of
fireflies, and investigate the susceptibility of different
firefly species to predatory Photuris femmes fatales.
The evolution of firefly nuptial gifts
This international study across different firefly species
revealed a surprising evolutionary link between males’
gift-giving habits and females’ flight ability.
Social networking by hermit crabs
Hermit crabs often acquire new shells via synchronous vacancy chains, in
which they use complex social behaviors to gather
information about shell quality.
Energy and predation costs of firefly flashing
This study used open-low respirometry to measure the
energetic expenditure during firefly flashing, which turned
out to be surprisingly modest. In contrast firefly flashing
carried a substantial cost by increasing predation risk.
Mating behavior of Tribolium flour beetles
Homosexual behaviors are widespread in the animal kingdom.
This video first shows typical male-female mating behavior
in red flour beetles, and then illustrates the striking
similarity of male homosexual copulations. Male beetles
frequently form stacks with many males attempting to
copulate with one another, although the evolutionary
maintenance of such behavior is still a mystery.