Fireflies

Mar 4, 2020

The topic for today are fireflies. Fireflies are very interesting insects. Most people know them as lightning bugs, but they're actually neither flies nor bugs. They're truly beetles. fireflies are in the beetle family  Lampyrdae, and there are approximately 200 species of fireflies in North America. 

Although Utah doesn't have the large flashy fireflies like in the Midwest and eastern United States, it does 

Credit pixabay

have several species of fireflies and they can still be quite interesting and fun to watch. Currently, fireflies are a hot topic because of the loss of wetlands and Utah as urbanization takes over and development drains wet areas are essential to fireflies biology, they begin as eggs and damp soil and once they hatch, the carnivorous larvae are very ravenous. The larvae are nocturnal just like the adult so most people never see them. They appear to be scaly around reptilian and appearance. They have mouthparts that are very useful for eating slugs, snails and other soil dwelling critters such as cutworm larvae or beetle larvae. Even the larvae of some species can glow and these are known as glow worms. Because they are effective natural enemies of other insects and arthropods. fireflies are beneficial to agriculture and the home garden. fireflies are best known for their twinkly bioluminescence. The flashes of light are considered cold light because they produce no heat as a byproduct. The rhythm of flashing varies with the species and may serves distinguish males and females from one another. females have some fireflies species appear to choose male mates based on flash frequency and pattern characteristics. Fireflies are beneficial insects which help control pests in our fields and gardens.