Fascinating Facts about Fireflies

The glowing tails of fireflies fill the night during summertime and these insects have fascinated scientists for a very long time with their ability to produce light. It was discovered that fireflies had a special substance in their abdomen that let them glow at night.

Why do fireflies light up? Fireflies do not just light up so that you can enjoy the view on a summer’s night. They light up for various reasons which are linked to their survival.

Female fireflies choose mates depending on the unique male flash pattern characteristics. Higher flash rates and intensity of males increase their chances of attracting females.

Some animal researchers have said that the flashier a male firefly is, the greater his chances of attracting a mate! (Does that sound similar to some human men you know? LOL)

Fireflies lights also help them identify other members of their species.  The larvae of a firefly use their little lights to warn off any predators. It is their way of saying “I do not taste good.” A firefly produces defensive steroids called lucibufagins that make them not so pleasant to the palate.

Fireflies don’t produce only yellow light. The light produced depends on the species. There are as many as 2,000 species of fireflies. But don’t start thinking they can produce all the colors in the rainbow. The lights in the abdomens of these creatures range from red to pale green to yellow. The Blue Ghost firefly is said to produce blue light.

Firefly Facts – everything you need to know about Fireflies!

1 Some firefly species’ eggs also glow!

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2 In Europe, female fireflies are flightless and instead look a lot like glow worms where their light does not flash, but glows.

3 Their average lifespan is 2 months in the wild.

4 They light up the subterranean world as an insect larva.

5 The enzyme luciferase made by fireflies, which is also a component to making its light, is effectively used in cancer medications and detecting blood clots?

6 A firefly’s light can either be orange, green or yellow.

7 As larvae, fireflies love to eat slugs and worm. As adults, they enjoy pollen or nectar, some are carnivores while others don’t eat at all.

8 Fireflies may look harmless but they shed blood in a process called reflex bleeding which is poisonous to lizards and even birds.

9 Fireflies need a moist environment in order to survive.

10 Fireflies are a type of beetle and not all fireflies produce light, especially the ones found in the western USA.

11 Fireflies can be devious. Some male species imitate other male firefly species to attract a mate. How is that possible you ask? Well, fireflies are carnivorous and prey on other firefly species, so if a male firefly imitates another firefly species he has a high chance of getting a female of his species to visit him looking for food—instead, she finds a mate.

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How And Why Do Fireflies Glow?

In this short educational video, learn more about how and why fireflies actually glow. Was really surprised to learn that they can turn their glowing on and off.