|Firefly/Lightning Bug image found here: http://managementscience.biz/lightning-bugs/|
As you may recall, the theme for the June AJE theme challenge is fireflies/lightning bugs and is open to all component makers and jewelry designers. I thought it might be fun to learn a little bit more about fireflies. Especially because I knew absolutely nothing about them except how beautiful they’re flashing lights are.
It turns out, what we are witnessing is a call to mate. Males fly around flashing their lights hoping to impress a female. The females stay on a perch on the ground or on a shrub. If they are impressed by what they see, they flash back. If they aren’t, they don’t flash and the male can’t find them in the dark.
|Example of amazing photography from Firefly Experience.|
According to the Boston’s Museum of Science Firefly Watch website, The female decides which male to mate with based on the nuptial gift she receives. The nuptial gift “contains sperm to fertilize her eggs and food to help nourish them. Research on some species, including a local Photinus, suggests that the female is swayed by the brightness and duration of a male’s flash. The more robust male firefly can produce a brighter flash and offer a larger nuptial gift, thus making him the preferred choice.”
To most of us, the flash of fireflies look the same as every other. However, there are lots of variations. From the same Firefly Watch website:
Each species of firefly has a fairly distinctive flash pattern, which each differ in a number of ways:
-Number of flashes
-Interval of time between flashes
-Time of night they are active
|Image found on Backyards for Nature|