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Thread: Fireflies

  1. #1
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    Fireflies

    Fireflies have always fascinated me. Wish we had them here on the west coast:

    Fireflies.jpg

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scien...igkrPXslZuYuco

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  2. #2
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    Sometime our back yard looks like we installed a bunch of twinkle lights. An sitting in our livening room we sometime have one or two fly past our picture window blinking.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  3. #3
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    Here in Texas, we call them "Lightning Bugs".

  4. #4
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    The most amazing display I ever saw was at the Pleasant Hill Shaker village in KY. There was a huge meadow with literally millions of fireflies/lightning bugs (we used both terms interchangeably in Ohio). It looked like a reverse waterfall as they lit up while flying upwards. Our little meadow here can have dozens lit up at once, nothing like that show we saw in Kentucky.

  5. #5
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    The nicest thing about fireflies is they're silent, they don't sting, don't eat your house or plants, and don't die in large numbers all over the front of your car. I'd give up fireflies if the others would go with them.

  6. #6
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    Firefflies and spring peepers are 2 of the nicest things about spring,summer.

  7. #7
    “The fireflies are are gone now ,I listen for the sound of winter rain”.
    Rod McKuen
    That was my “we have talked enough “ music !

  8. #8
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    So the west coast doesn’t have them? I never knew that. My daughter had never seen them until she visited the grandparents in the states. You can imagine a child describing to dad for the first time a flying bug whose butt lights up!

  9. #9
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    Yeah, driving in a rural area at night in the summer in the Midwest is...messy...
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  10. #10
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    We live in a suburban development of 300 single and townhouse homes. When we first moved here there were quite a few fireflies. In a couple years there were virtually none. I attribute that to some "we want a perfect lawn and will apply as much fertilizer and as many pesticides as it takes to get that" homeowners. Pesticides don't just kill pests. I've seen some fireflies lately, perhaps people are using less chemicals or at least more selective pest control methods.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    We live in a suburban development of 300 single and townhouse homes. When we first moved here there were quite a few fireflies. In a couple years there were virtually none. I attribute that to some "we want a perfect lawn and will apply as much fertilizer and as many pesticides as it takes to get that" homeowners. Pesticides don't just kill pests. I've seen some fireflies lately, perhaps people are using less chemicals or at least more selective pest control methods.
    It's also a matter of habitat destruction-- European turf grass lawns are arid deserts as far as supporting native north American wildlife. They provide neither habitat nor food for any of the native insects, including fireflies. Firefly larvae require leaf litter to grow and mature; overly aggressive fall removal of leaves also removes the firefly larvae. The larvae predate on snails and slugs, so removing the organic material that supports those animals also does in the fireflies.

  12. #12
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    We have fireflies/lightning bugs all summer. I live in an area with scattered houses and lots of area for them. A couple of times over the last 40 years I have gone outside and observed a mass event of thousands of them flashing in an area of dense bushes. It was an absolutely amazing sight.

    I know spring is close as the tree frogs have just started their serenade.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Roehl View Post
    Yeah, driving in a rural area at night in the summer in the Midwest is...messy...
    Driving on I-5 north of Sacramento is no joy either, bug city.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Fireflies have always fascinated me. Wish we had them here on the west coast:

    ...
    You might be interested, then, in the book "Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs" by Lynn Faust. I bought a copy as soon as I found out about it. There is probably no better information outside of scientific papers, and much of this is practical.

    https://www.amazon.com/Fireflies-Glo.../dp/0820348724

    I've been watching synchronous fireflies for maybe 30 years in my back yard in Oak Ridge and and now in the woods at our farm. Using her book, I tentatively identified the species and she confirmed it. We do have as many as those in the Great Smoky Mountains that attract 1000s of visitors each year, but our are free! I've seen three distinctive types of fireflies here but she told me there were probably at least 6!

    It is fascinating to stand in one spot and see dozens of fireflies all flashing in sync. They are only present for a few weeks in the summer although I see another dominant type here starting much earlier and active much later in the summer. This year I think I'll start logging observations. The dates they are present are closely related to the temperature.

    JKJ

  15. #15
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    We call them lightning bugs here as well. I first learned they weren't on the West coast when a relative was visiting about 15 years ago and was so excited seeing them for the first time. She said they didn't have them in California. They are something we take for granted here.

    However this is to be the year of the Cicada. They said in May they would start appearing. They are one noisy insect.

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