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Thread: Fireflies!

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Fireflies!

    Hehe....used the lightbulb smilie for this thread.Thought it would be appropriate.

    I love this time of year when the adult fireflies, or lightning bugs as us Baltimoreans called them, emerge and do their light show from early evening on into the night. Sometimes I'll get up during the night and peer out the window for awhile looking for them. I still like to catch them when they first come out at dusk just like I did as a child, though I only hold them for a short while and let them go again. Don't want to interrupt their mate-hunting for too long.

    When I was a kid, I thought there was only one kind of firefly. We lived near a large city park and sometimes I'd catch these smaller fireflies that stayed deeper in the woods. I thought they were *baby* fireflies that would grow to get the size of the ones I normally caught. However, a few years ago I read an article about them which showed there were several varieties of these interesting insects. I also learned they spend like 3 or 4 years in the larvae stage before finally pupating and reaching an adult. As docile as the adults are, flying around lighting their lights and minding their own business, it's hard to believe they are so ferocious as a larvae. In that stage they already have light emitting organs, but they use the light to attract other small insects which they then attack and devour. As adults, they don't eat at all. The brief few weeks you see them is their entire adult life span, which is spent entirely searching for a mate.

    Fascinating, too, is the fact that the light emitted by fireflies differs in color, intensity, and timing from one variety to another. And each firefly only responds to the light from a mate of the same type as they are. Now I try to take note of how many different varieties of fireflies I can pick out. I see the little ones which I used to think were babies. They fly quickly with their light blinking at regular intervals like a tiny strobe light. Then there's another type that has a yellowish-green light which is kept lit for a longer duration - looks like a yellow/green streak of light going through our front yard. Of course, there's always the early evening ones I'm used to catching which fly fairly low and dip themselves down towards the grass when lighting their light. Guess I love these little insects because seeing them each year takes me back to fun, early Summer evenings playing as a child.


  2. #2


    Fireflies were and still are my favorite part of summer. It's just so beautiful to see those little bobbing lights float by. I had so much fun catching them and watching them glow in my hands. I still try to catch them sometimes if I see some, before letting them go on their merry way.

  3. #3


    Unfortunately, there are no fireflies where I live, but I remember seeing them in Wisconsin as a kid, and my cousins and I would see how many we could catch. They really are beautiful.

  4. #4


    I hate them. I hate all bugs, I hate going outside in the summer because of bugs. Even fruitflies freak me out.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Mandi View Post
    I hate them. I hate all bugs, I hate going outside in the summer because of bugs. Even fruitflies freak me out.
    I'm not much of a bug person either I had too see a doctor last summer because I inhaled so much fly spray that I got a lung irritation. My dad goes to war against ants, I suppose thats where my dislike of bugs come from

    Unfortunately I've never seen fire flies, though I'd like too. They sound pretty and interesting, closest thing I've seen is glow worms in caves.

  6. #6

    Default Ewe,bugs.

    I try to remind myself that even the ugly,slimy,bugs have a reason for being there.The disease-ridden house-fly is discusting,but the young maggots of the fly serve a very needed purpose.The world would be a much nastier place if the dead corpses of the woodland creatures were not devoured by the maggots.The insects that I most detest are the ticks and the mosquitos (that's probably not spelled correctly).As far as I can tell,the only use for these blood-suckers is to spread disease and keep the various other species in check,preventing over-population by killing some of them.They really do suck,no pun intended,bad this year in Missouri,being outside is much less enjoyable this summer.

  7. #7


    I hate mosquitoes, too. And for some reason, they seem to love me. My blood must be delicious. If I'm sitting outside with my family and there are mosquitoes out, I'll start getting bit all over the place. When I ask I anyone else is getting bitten, they say no. Finally, I get fed up and go inside, and about five minutes later everyone else comes in, too. As soon as I leave, they start getting bitten.

    I'm like some sort of mosquito magnet or something. Thay could market me as a product to keep the mosquitoes away. Just set me up near your outdoor event and all of those little itchy bugs will be preoccupied.

    I hate cockroaches, too, but other than that bugs don't really... bug me!

  8. #8


    Fireflies are cool, at least they don't bite me and look pretty!

    Too bad there aren't many out here. Mostly June bugs and Mosquitoes during the summer months, particularly the night, that's when they feed- on my back porch. I pity the fool who walks onto my back porch at night.. they'd better be armed with something..

    It wouldn't hurt my feelings if they disappeared, and were replaced by fireflies though.

  9. #9


    I grew up loving fire flies. This was the same house with the big back porch and the glider. It was located near Barnegat Bay, N.J. I would catch them as a child, and with the help of my mom, put them in a jar with holes in the lid. Since I was somewhat afraid of the dark, the fireflies would light up my room. I would go to sleep with the windows open and hear the sounds of the night. We had wippoorwills, and I would listen to them, although, they were also eiree sounding. Our yard was next to the old Veder Farm, also a scary place. One day I ran away from home; I was 4. I ran down the wooded path where my dad and I would walk the dog. There in the middle of the path was the head of a pig, with a bullet hole in the center of its forehead. I ran home screaming.

    We also had millions of mosquitoes because our house was near the bay. In those days, they would spray DDT either from trucks down the highway, Rt. 9, or from bi-plane airplanes. Everyone new the pilots as they were the Cherry brothers. One by one they all died in airplane crashes. The planes they flew were old Steermans. What a glorious site as they would buzz down on us. As kids, we would all run out into the spray. When the trucks went by, it was like a dense fog. You couldn't see 5 feet in front of you. It was this spraying that almost killed the birds and especially the bald eagles into extinction. Image what it did to all of us. I was a perfectly normal child until "The Fog" hahaha....

  10. #10


    I like fireflies ever since I was a small child I would catch fireflies with my sister every summer. I still like the way how they light the night sky.

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