A New Look at Firefly Romance (image) Tufts University Caption This is a male Photinus firefly that failed to successfully transfer a spermatophore -- or nuptial gift -- during mating. The spermatophore is trailing from male reproductive tract. While a female's initial assessment of potential mates is based on males' luminescent flashes, research by Tufts University biologists reveals that once a pair makes contact, flashes no longer matter. Instead, it's those males that have larger nuptial gifts to give that win out with higher reproductive success. Credit Tufts University Usage Restrictions Use only with appropriate caption and credit for news or educational purposes. Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.