The restoration and maintenance of firefly habitats in Japan – case studies from Yokosuka City

Nobuyoshi Ohba

Ohba Firefly Institute, 4-1-12-204 Maborikaigan, Yokosuka City 239-0801, Japan.

ABSTRACT

Japanese people have watched fireflies since ancient times, especially during summer months when the attractive Genji-firefly (Luciola cruciata) and Heike-firefly (Luciola lateralis) fly along the streams and rice fields. The larvae of these fireflies thrive in flowing water of good quality, and may serve as biological indicators of healthy freshwater ecosystems. Urbanisation has encroached upon firefly habitats and reduced firefly populations. It is critical to conserve the habitats in which these fireflies are found. Case studies of successful rehabilitation and creation of firefly habitats in Yokosuka City are presented. Factors contributing to the continuing success of the firefly conservation effort in Japan are discussed. Lessons learnt from the Yokosuka case studies can be applied to future efforts to conserve and restore firefly habitats.

Firefly, Luciola cruciata, Luciola lateralis, habitat, wetland, restoration, maintenance, conservation, Yokosuka City, Japan