Lightning bugs

Lightning bugs

If you have ever spent a fall evening outside in the Midwest, you surely know what a firefly is. According to a recent report, the one insect every child loves to catch and play with is on the decline in numbers.

Most kids will remember running around the yard and collecting the fireflies, also known as lightning bugs, in a mason jar and watching them light up the night. The light omitted from their bodies is actually an attractant for the opposite sex. They light up in different patters as a way of calling out to each other.

What most people don’t know is that a lightning bug is actually in the same species of insects as a beetle. They are one of the good bugs on the list of helpful insects to keep around. You used to be able to find large swarms of the flying, glowing beetles, however now they it is a very rare occasion to see a full swarm. Some researchers blame habitat loss and light pollution on the decline of fireflies. Fireflies hide during the winter and need natural undisturbed areas to survive. It is thought that human light pollution interrupts their matting patterns by interrupting the mating flashes of the glow.

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