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Outdoor Elements

Fun Facts About Fireflies!

January 24, 2014 (Updated: 3:16 PM)
Photo of a firefly
  • In some species, firefly eggs and larvae emit light.
  • Fireflies are found on almost every continent except Antarctica.
  • Fireflies don’t make tasty prey! When attacked fireflies shed drops of blood known as “reflex
    bleeding.” The chemical is bitter and poisonous.
  • Firefly larvae are carnivores and eat snails and worms. Yum!
  • Fireflies emit light to attract a mate but also to defend territory and warn predators away.
  • Fireflies have a 2-year lifecycle. The larvae overwinter in the soil.

Catching Fireflies

If you collect fireflies in a jar, be sure the lid has air holes. Please be sure to release them, or they
will die. Before you let them go take them inside or near a bright light so you can see the insects well.

  1. Can you count how many legs they have?
  2. What do you notice about their wings?
  3. What colors do you see on them?
  4. Can you tell them apart?

Try taking a digital picture of fireflies flashing in your jar in the dark. Take another in the bright light.