OK — this is a love story of sorts. We trawled the prairies and woods for bugs during the day, and at dusk and into the night, we hunted for fireflies. Do you call them lightning bugs or fireflies?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
The main reason Lightning Bugs flash is to attract mates. Among most but not all species of North American Lightning Bugs, males fly about flashing while females perch on vegetation, usually near the ground. If the female sees a flasher and she's ready to mate she responds by flashing right after the male's last flash. A short flash dialogue takes place as the male flies closer and closer, and then, if all goes well, they mate.