As summer wanes, the flickering lights fade away. The curtain closes on blinking fields, forests, and yards and the twilight hour loses one of its featured performers. As a child, I was introduced to the magic and mystery of nature through the firefly.
Fireflies —also known a lightning bugs —have been captivating humans for centuries with their beautiful lights on summer nights. The nearly 2, species of fireflies worldwide inhabit every continent except Antarctica. What signals are they sending?
Cyphonocerinae Lampyrinae Luciolinae Ototretinae disputed Photurinae and see below. Genera incertae sedis : Oculogryphus Pterotus LeConte, The Lampyridae are a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera with over 2, described species.
Firefliesor lightning bugs, are from the family Coleoptera:Lampyridaeand they might be our most beloved insect, inspiring poets and scientists alike. Fireflies are neither flies nor bugs; they are beetles, and there are 2, species on our planet. Like all other beetleslightning bugs have hardened forewings called elytra, which meet in a straight line down the back when at rest.
With permission of the publisher, Princeton University Press. All Rights Reserved. People often ask how I first got started with fireflies.
A blue ghost firefly, that is. Over 2, species of lightning bug sparkle and flicker on this Earth, with more than species living in the United States. And each one speaks its own language.
On this night she walks through a farm field in eastern Massachusetts, watching the first fireflies of the evening rise into the air and begin to blink on and off. Lewis, an evolutionary ecologist at Tufts Universitypoints out six species in this meadow, each with its own pattern of flashes. Along one edge of the meadow are Photinus greeni, with double pulses separated by three seconds of darkness.
Flashy males may get the women but they stand an even greater chance of becoming some one else's dinner. To bad that's not true in the human world - just kidding. But it is true in the world of fireflies. A study out today from biologists at Tufts University has discovered a dark side lurking behind the magical light-shows put on by fireflies, also known as Lightning Bugsmost summer nights in many parts of the country.
Female fireflies are attracted to flashier males. Summer evenings in firefly territory might look to us like nothing more than a dazzling light show. But to females of the fireflies species Photinusthe air is abuzz with mating opportunities.
F ireflies, or lightning bugs, are an exciting part of a summer night. Their blinking, glowing flight seems to signal a mysterious message in the dark, and children and adults alike are captivated. Sometimes children turn the tables and trap the bugs in jars, thinking that they can capture their beautiful glow like a natural lantern, but, sadly, the fireflies often just die.