Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show: Fireflies or Lightening bugs
Sitting on my screened porch in the evening, there’ve been more fireflies it seems. Or maybe I’ve just been staying up later. Hey, cut me slack, I get up at 4:20 most mornings for work! When I was little, a long time ago and in a land south of Minnesota, it seemed like the evening backyard was alive with the magical glow of the Lightening Bug. We would chase them down and capture them in jars. My dad would poke holes in the metal tops so they’d have air. And we used them like a lantern.
Check out the wonderful photos on Firefly Experience.
And then, the fireflies would die… But, still, there would be more… then it seemed there weren’t. Is it because I moved? Did I just get older and not pay attention to their little glowing bellies? Or is it more sinister, like too many pesticides. Maybe the fairies took them back to the forests?
According to scientific research, that one’s probably not the answer, on the other hand, THEY don’t really know. Fireflies flash to find a partner. The males will signal they’re available and the females then decide if they want to respond with their own flash. There are many species, how many live in Minnesota, is still a slight mystery. However, they do have their own code.
Fireflies flash in different sequences and also have different colors. They’re neither a fly or a bug, they’re a beetle. They’re bioluminescence starts right away. They glow from egg to larvae to adult. And they eat slugs. I knew I liked them!