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That Beautiful Glow In The Dark?
Summer nights bring a special glow out my window that has an unique beauty that is magical. On moonless evenings these amazing insects can be seen in so many different areas and the effects create an almost three dimensional aluminous painting.
How many of us remember as children of chasing or seeking out these magical insects. We put them in jars that we had poked holes in the lid, and made our own lams that led the way through those dark places that we would not have explored otherwise. It was always a great contest to see how many one could collect.
The common names that most people identify with this magic is fireflies and lighting bugs. They are neither flies or are they bugs, they are actually Beatles. The majority of fireflies are winged, which distinguishes them from the same family known as "glowworm."
There are about 2,000 different species. They live in moist warm environments. We all recognize there signature glow by there unique signals of light. This insect takes in oxygen and combines it with a substance called luciferin and the enzyme to produce light.
They are long and narrow, about ½-inch, with a black head, a reddish section behind the head with a dark middle and flexible dark brown wings.
In some species the females are wingless and appear similar to larvae. Wingless females have structures that produce light and are called "glow-worms."
Different species have different flash patterns and the flashes of firefly females differ from those of the males in the same species. Firefly flashing are mating signals, yet it may also serve as a warning to potential predators. Predators of fireflies include frogs, spiders and some birds. Studies have shown that the firefly is quite bitter in taste. The firefly is a carnivorous insect that eats other insects and has been observed eating those in their own species.
Larvae and adults are nocturnal. They immobilize their prey by injecting them with a toxic digestive enzymes, before sucking out their body contents.
In the winter at the larval stage their chambers are formed in the soil. They pupate in the spring and emerge in early summer. After mating the females lay eggs singly or in groups in damp soil. The larvae hatch in approximately 4 weeks. The life cycle of most species take two years.
Fireflies are disappearing all over the world, and it's believed to be because of human encroachment on habitat and increased light pollution from development. It is also known that chemical pesticides and weed killers may also have a negative effect on the firefly populations.
♥ We should all be in awe of the animals and insects for their beauty that they display.