Do Only Adult Fireflies Glow?

Also known as lightning bugs, fireflies are in fact neither flies nor bugs. Fireflies are actually a type of beetle. The bioluminescense generated by fireflies is sometimes used to communicate with other lighting bugs but also will occur when the firefly is disturbed in some fashion. Not only do adult fireflies glow, some species' eggs also glow when they are disturbed.

More facts about fireflies:

  • Some species use short bursts of flashes to communicate. Males of certain species will use specific patterns of flashes to attract females for mating.

  • A firefly's glow is classed as cold light. This means that the light does not generate any appreciable amount of heat. It occurs because of a chemical reaction that allows fireflies to trigger the activity without wasting any body heat.

  • Fireflies are found on every continent except Antarctica. Many species thrive in tropical and subtropical environments where there is a great deal of humidity. Other species do well in colder conditions. The level of glowing and flashing varies depending on the species.

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