The Magic Of Fireflies

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Fireflies are a member of the beetle family, but are far more appealing to most people than the average bug-eyed beetle.
They fly and are sometimes called lightning bugs because their back ends exude a glimmering light that attracts both food and mates.
The light is usually green, yellow, or sometimes a light reddish shade, depending on the specific species and the environment in which they live.
Fireflies often live in wet and wooded areas, but they are fairly common, even in crowded suburban areas.
The larvae like the food sources in the wet areas, which leads to a higher predominance in these areas, especially right after hatching.
The larvae are sometimes referred to as glowworms.
Fireflies are not that different from other bugs aside from the lighting up, so it is somewhat unusual that people who are typically scared of bugs are completely comfortable around fireflies.
This could be due to the fact that as children, we are encouraged to capture fireflies.
While most adults shoo their children away from bugs that are crawling around the home, kids are encouraged to chase and play with fireflies, making them appear friendlier to use right from the beginning.
The firefly usually has a brown body that is relatively soft and leathery.
The firefly is mostly nocturnal and will be seen starting around dusk.
It is typically warmer weather that brings them out too, and a sure sign of a warm summer evening is the plethora of glowing lights hovering over an open field.
After using their lights to attract mates, the female lays her eggs slightly under the surface of the ground.
Eggs usually hatch about a month later and larvae continue to feed until the end of the summer.
During the winter, the larvae hibernate underground or in trees.
There are species that hibernate longer than just one winter season.
When they emerge in the spring, they are full-grown fireflies ready to float and flutter around, looking to start the life cycle of a new batch of flies.
Fireflies are not pursued by too many natural predators in the wild because they taste gross.
In addition to attracting mates, they also use their light to attract prey, making them the usual predator.
The biggest threat to fireflies is often the chunky hands of an overzealous toddler, interested in capturing the bug as a pet.
The idea of storing several of the lightning bugs in a jar and producing their own mediocre flashlight is sometimes too much for a young child to handle, resulting in several squashed bugs that never make it into the jar.
Fireflies do not typically create infestations and they usually create no damage to homes.
In extreme circumstances, their light may be bothersome during sleeping hours, but the average person can handle shutting the shade and getting some firefly free rest.
If you think you may have misconceptions about fireflies, do your best to learn about how they operate and how they are beneficial to nature.
Those with children will have more opportunities than they may want to enjoy the firefly up close and personal.
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