Two homologous genes of firefly luciferase, LcLL1 and LcLL2, were cloned from the Japanese firefly Luciola cruciata, and were expressed and characterized. The gene product of LcLL1 had long-chain fatty acyl-CoA synthetic activity, but not luciferase activity. The other gene product of LcLL2 did not show enzymatic activities of acyl-CoA synthetase and luciferase. RT-PCR analysis showed that the transcript of LcLL1 was abundant in larva but very low in adult, while LcLL2 was expressed in both larva and adult. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that LcLL1 and LcLL2 are paralogous genes of firefly luciferase. Recently, we found that CG6178 in Drosophila melanogaster is an orthologue of firefly luciferase and shows fatty acyl-CoA synthetic activity, but not luciferase activity. These results suggest that firefly luciferase might be evolved from a fatty acyl-CoA synthetase by gene duplication in insects.