Commonly known as lightning bugs or fireflies, members of the Lampyridae family are medium-sized beetles that chemically produce a cold light from their abdomens. Observed after dusk, their light glows green, pale red, or yellow and has no infrared or ultraviolet light.
If you’ve ever been outside right at dusk, then some of you have had the pleasure of witnessing the magical light show put on by our friendly fireflies. However, “in the U.S., almost no species of fireflies are found west of Kansas,” according to firefly.org. “And scientists still aren’t sure why this is.”
I grew up in Louisiana and Texas, and I can tell you that not once did I ever see a firefly. Those states aren’t west of Kansas but more south,south-east instead. So, I’ll wager that only those living east of the Mississippi get to experience this evening extravaganza. I think that seems pretty safe to say.
Now I live on the east coast, and I can’t imagine my summer evenings without these little critters hanging around. For those of you living on the west side of the continent and missing out on the spectacle (or for those of you who enjoy them as much as I do) here’s an amazing time-lapse video caught on film by Vincent Brady and set to music by Brandon McCoy. Enjoy!
Above image by Vincent Brady.