A Glowing Ballet
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Many creatures have complex and beautiful mating rituals. However, few are more wondrous or dramatic than the firefleas’ ritual.
The fireflea is a marine crustacean about the size of a sesame seed. They are found in the Caribbean. Firefleas, as the name implies, are capable of generating light. The light is used to signal danger and for their mating ritual. When attacked, firefleas generate a cloud of light in the water, helping some firefleas escape and drawing the attention of larger predators to the firefleas’ attacker. There is enough light-generating chemicals in one fireflea to give ten minutes of light bright enough to read by.
During the mating ritual, only the males emit light. However, this is not simply random lighting. The males produce differing dot and dash patterns in the water as they try to gain a female’s approval. Some species produce vertical lines of dots while others make horizontal lines. One species swims in packs, producing large dotted patterns by coordinating their release of light with each other.
The fireflea is a tiny and seemingly unimportant creature. The meaning of its complex light displays went unnoticed until just the last 20 years. Though unknown to man for thousands of years, the fireflea has continued to praise its Creator by doing what He created it to do. Are you doing what your Creator created you to do?
I thank You, Father, that through the forgiveness of my sins in Jesus Christ, You have made me a new creature. Help me to know how to live the new life You have given me in Christ so that I may praise You with my actions. Amen.
“Romantic Lighting.” Discover, Feb. 1988. P. 16. See also http://books.google.com/books?id=DNrTfH5PcWoC&pg=PA49. Illustration: Cypridina mediterranea.