P. bahamense, G. polyedra, and P. lunula exhibit interspecies differences in stimulable and spontaneous bioluminescence. For each species the total number of photons that can be emitted upon mechanical stimulation is a constant, regardless of the time during scotophase at which stimulation occurs. Ratios of stimulable bioluminescence per organism during scotophase and photophase are as high as 950:1 for laboratory cultures and have been observed as high as 4000: 1 for natural populations of P. bahamense. Spontaneous emission in darkness shows flashing as well as low-level continuous emission. Natural populations of P. bahamense, placed in darkness during natural photophase, exhibit a dual character to their stimulable bioluminescence. Mechanical stimulation techniques are described for rapid and reproducible stimulation of bioluminescence.

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