Fireflies or Lightning bugs?

Thu. Jul. 9, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Fireflies or Lightning bugs

Depending on what part of the country you come from, they’re either fireflies or lightning bugs.

photo by Radim Schreiber

In the Upper Midwest, we kinda like both names!  The western half prefers firefly while the southeaster mid section prefers lightning bugs. Whatever you call them, young and old are enchanted by these glowing fliers. Here’s more on that…

lightning bug

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 the Upper Midwest, is still a slight mystery. However, they do have their own code.

photo by Radim Schreiber.

Fireflies flash in different sequences and also have different colors. They’re neither a fly or a bug, they’re a beetle. They’re bio-luminescence starts right away. They glow from egg to larvae to adult. And they eat slugs. I knew I liked them!

There is a website called Firefly Watch through Mass Audubon,  where people were seeing fireflies and try to count them.

Firefly watch map
Firefly larvae