Monday, June 21, 2010

Flashing. Lights, lights, lights.

Today I saw a firefly/lightning bug (however you prefer) broad daylight. It's true!
It was flying around our porch and landed on the windowsill next to the front door. It seemed like such a normal occurrence, but for some reason that I couldn't wrap my head around, it felt strange, wrong even. 
And that is when it hit me- that it was the first time I had ever [consciously] seen a lightning bug before dusk.
It was a bit jolting to tell the truth.
Logically I suppose that it would make sense that these little creatures do not naturally disappear at the rise of the sun. Nevertheless, I have never been one to stop and think about the reasoning as to why they are so abundant at night and so scarce during the day.
So, I looked it up!
And I was pleasantly surprised to find that the answer to this pressing question was not as mundane or boring as I was expecting.
WikiAnswers, for example, said the following:
"Lightning bugs find a resting spot on some shady leaf during the day. They're mainly nocturnal, as they're lights are best seen in the dark, and they communicate using sight."
But of course, as the fantastic journalism student that I am, I always double check my facts.
Very soon after, I came across this site that not only concurred with the previous statement, but gave many incredibly intriguing facts to boot. 
Like, for example, did you know that lightning bugs aren't actually flies or bugs at all? They are a part of the beetle family. 
And did you know that there are different flashing patterns for different species of lightning bugs?
 Or how about the fact that adult lightning bugs have a brief lifespan of only 2 weeks?
Or that during the colder winter months they actually bury themselves underground until the arrival of Spring?

Um, yeah.
You're welcome.


  1. just taught me SO MUCH!

  2. I like lightning bugs :) I love to sit outside on a summer evening and watch them flash their little lights all over the place. They've always held this magical sort of fascination with me...

  3. i've only ever seen one lightning bug in my whole life. i was so pumped and nerdy about it.

  4. Really?!? I guess they aren't as populous in Canada =(

  5. Lightning bugs were such a part of my and your mom's life...growing up and staying outside at night and playing chase and all sorts of games with the neighborhood kids in north Louisiana...lightning bugs were abundant. I can't even tell you the last time i saw lightning bug...kinda sad. Thanks Emmy for sharing all this great info.

    Your biggest fan, Aunt Cathy