QC Blog: Firefly, Firefly Burning Bright

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Firefly, Firefly Burning Bright

You might recall a few weeks ago, I mentioned how much fun it was catching lightning bugs as a kid. Today, I'd only touch them under duress, but my sister and I signed up with the Museum of Science to observe fireflies this summer. Apparently the firefly population is decreasing and they don't know why. If you go to their website, you can learn more about the species and sign up to watch them in your backyard. It's only once a week for 10 minutes. What I learned (that I didn't know before) is that there are three different lights - yellow green, green, and orange. Females are the ones who are usually stationary and males are the ones flying around. Most of the time they are doing a mating ritual, except when an impostor firefly imitates the mating light of another one and eats the males who answer her call. All kinds of things enter into how many fireflies you see (I've always called them lightning bugs) - grass, surrounding light, cloudiness, and temperature. You can get more info at the Museum of Science website, www.mos.org/fireflywatch. I plan on trying to take some photos next Sunday. That ought to be interesting.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the info - just completed the sign up. We live in a very rural area of Northern Wisconsin and I do see fireflies at night - should be so interesting to actually track them.

quiltingcrusader said...

That's great. Each recruit helps.

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