How To Help Fireflies Who Need Dark Nights For Their Summer Light Shows
Before humans invented fire, the only things that lit up the night were the moon, the stars and bioluminescent creatures – including fireflies. These ambassadors of natural wonder are soft-bodied beetles that emit “cold light,” using a biochemical reaction housed in their abdominal lanterns.
Fireflies exchange bioluminescent courtship signals as a precursor to mating. In doing so, they construct spectacular light shows that inspire joy and delight in people all around the world. Unfortunately, human activities threaten to extinguish these silent sparks.
In recent decades, fireflies have vanished from many places where they were once found. Like other insects, fireflies are threatened by habitat loss and pesticide use. They are also uniquely vulnerable to the harmful effects of light pollution.
As scientists who study fireflies and how they are affected by artificial light, we want to make sure that future generations can continue to enjoy one of nature’s greatest wonders.