Facts about fireflies

Some Firefly facts

  • Fireflies are also called Lightning Bugs. They are so named as they are nocturnal luminous insects of the beetle family Lampyridae, consisting of about 1,900 species that inhabit tropical and temperate regions. The common glow worm is a member of this family.
  • Fireflies are soft bodied beetles which sizes range from 5 to 25 millimetres in length. On the underside of the abdomen it have special light organs that glows in luminous flashes. Theflattened, dark brown or black body is often marked with yellow or orange. Most of the fireflies feed on pollen and nectar but for adult fireflies they do not eat.
  • What bring the sexes together? The female fireflies will produce a short rhythmic flashes that attracts the males fireflies. The females will sit on the ground in the high grass to flash to certain male only. The female chooses the males based on their flash pattern. However, others feel that the flashing is not to attract the opposites but as a mechanism of warning to advise predators of the fireflies bitter taste. Unfortunately, some frogs like to eat them.
  • How is the firefly light produced? They are produced under a nervous control within special cells which are richly supplied with air tubes. Only the light from the visible spectrum is emitted.
  • Fireflies do not bite, do not have pincers, do not carry disease and in fact are quite harmless. They cannot even fly fast. They have a life span of two months.
  • Fireflies produce a “cold light”, with no infrared or ultrviolet frequencies.
  • There are 2,000 species of firefly found
  • Tropical fireflies routinely synchronise their flashes among large groups