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Old 02-27-2019, 02:05 PM
 
Location: equator
3,088 posts, read 1,330,468 times
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Growing up in SoCal, I never saw any. DH said they were a regular sight in NJ.

Now here we are at the equator and last night the power went out. For the first time ever, I saw hundreds of lightning bugs along the shoreline, right up to the condo. It seemed miraculous. If they've been there before, we wouldn't know, as we have security lights going at night. I even saw stars, LOL.

So are lightning bugs all over the world? The equatorial climate is certainly very different from New Jersey!

It was really a thrill, for this first-timer.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:37 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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Firefly Enemy #1 & #2-- loss of habitat and light pollution
https://www.firefly.org/why-are-fire...appearing.html
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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We have them in Michigan. Some years they are few and you may see only thousands of them. Other years they are everywhere, millions i all likelihood. They sometimes make a better show than fireworks.

One thing interesting I noted about them is they are usually pretty low - in the 2' to 10' high range. But some years they are all the way up in the tops of the trees 80'+ I do not know why they are low some years and all over including way up high other years, but it seems to remain consistent through the entire year. Either they will be only low for the entire year, or they will be low and way up high for the entire year.

IN any event we love them. The heavy years are amazing where we live. The entire forest is filled with fairy lights.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:12 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
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Congrats on your first magical experience with fireflies OP.
Here in TN I have a very tall tree in the field across from my home, near a creek. Every May that tree sparkles at night with hundreds of fireflies. Fairy lights is a very apt description!
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:28 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
6,634 posts, read 6,177,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand&Salt View Post
Growing up in SoCal, I never saw any. DH said they were a regular sight in NJ.

Now here we are at the equator and last night the power went out. For the first time ever, I saw hundreds of lightning bugs along the shoreline, right up to the condo. It seemed miraculous. If they've been there before, we wouldn't know, as we have security lights going at night. I even saw stars, LOL.

So are lightning bugs all over the world? The equatorial climate is certainly very different from New Jersey!

It was really a thrill, for this first-timer.
There are several species of fireflies/lightning bugs that can be found in various places around the world, but apparently there are none (or very few) in western North America. This firefly website explains about the different species and kinds of habitats they are usually found in. https://www.firefly.org/firefly-habitat.html

I have never seen anything remotely like them anywhere here in the Pacific northwest, not even little glow worms. But I had the great pleasure of seeing millions of fireflies one summer several years ago when I was visiting friends on their farm in the hills near Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The light show the fireflies put on in the air and in the trees seemed, as you said, a miraculous thing. I could have just sat there and watched them all night but there were clouds of mosquitoes there too and they finally drove me indoors! It was hot and extremely humid there and the magnitude and populations of so many different species of insects there blew my socks off. Amazing!

.

Last edited by Zoisite; 02-27-2019 at 07:14 PM..
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
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We get them by the thousands here in summer. Last year they were so abundant it looked like someone had put strings of yellowish-green lights in the grass

They were also pretty common when we lived in Michigan and where I grew up in Upstate NY.

I'm surprised to learn that there are places they are not found; I guess that I didn't know since I have never lived anywhere that didn't have fireflies.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:37 PM
Status: "Mostly gruntled." (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I see them every summer up here near Algonquin Park.
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Old Yesterday, 06:30 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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Their bioluminescence has been studied for decades by the biochemists, but they can't figure it out how they get such a bright light without generating excessive heat.


Maybe more amazing is that when photographed with a prolonged shutter speed, their light display traces out a species specific, repeating pattern (zig-zags, "j's" etc) that serves as a mating dance to attract a partner-- kinduva six legged Dance of the Seven Veils.
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Old Yesterday, 06:40 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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The first time I ever saw one was back in 1978 when I moved from Florida to Long Island. We had them there and in North Carolina. In all my years here in Florida I have never seen a lightning bug. :-(
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Old Yesterday, 07:42 AM
 
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We have quite a few here in southern MN so I grew up with them. They are nearly magical.

But I only ever identified them in the day time a few years ago and they are unspectacular versions of their nighttime selves. Really quite a drab little beetle sort of bug. They like my black-eyed-susans.

One winter I stayed in the jungles of Yucatan and over Christmas the jungle was lit with a million fireflies. It was breathtaking.
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