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View Full Version : Are fireflies ever found in the Western US?


Runs With Scissors
06-30-2007, 10:38 PM
I've never seen them in WA, OR, ID, MT, CA, NV, or AZ. But I've seen them in the Midwest.

Do they exist in the West? If not...why?

Thanks!

kitemaker_chuck
06-30-2007, 10:57 PM
I've never seen them in WA, OR, ID, MT, CA, NV, or AZ. But I've seen them in the Midwest.

Do they exist in the West? If not...why?

Thanks!

I'm from the state of Washington and I never recall seeing fireflies here.
If breeding populations were introduced here from the Midwest, could they survive and eventually thrive here?

kitemaker_chuck
(Chuck Anderson)

Colibri
06-30-2007, 11:36 PM
According to this (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE3D91F39F933A15750C0A96E948260), although members of the firefly family are found in the western US, ones that fly around flashing are not found much farther west than Kansas City.

Richard Parker
06-30-2007, 11:44 PM
According to this (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE3D91F39F933A15750C0A96E948260), although members of the firefly family are found in the western US, ones that fly around flashing are not found much farther west than Kansas City.

Guess as to why?

Colibri
06-30-2007, 11:50 PM
Guess as to why?

No idea.

Squink
06-30-2007, 11:53 PM
ones that fly around flashing are not found much farther west than Kansas City.They're pretty common in eastern Nebraska.

astorian
07-01-2007, 12:31 AM
I see them regularly here in Texas- but that may not count as sufficiently "West" in your estimation.

WarmNPrickly
07-01-2007, 12:36 AM
Guess as to why?

Hippies. Fireflies hate hippies.

Captain_C
07-01-2007, 01:35 AM
Obviously it is because FOX cancelled Drive before Mal could get far enough west...

Wait, what's this thread about again?

DrDeth
07-01-2007, 01:35 AM
There are planty of Fireflies in the Western USA. However, they don't give off light. Yeah, I know, you think I am being a smartass. I am- but not here. :p

I have seen the larval forms of the beetle Family Lampyridae right here in CA, and glowing quite nicely, thank you. Not common, but you can find them. However, the Western US species don't produce light as adults.

From Wiki:
Many fireflies do not produce light. Usually these species are diurnal, or day-flying, such as those in the genus Ellychnia. A few diurnal fireflies that primarily inhabit shadowy places, such as beneath tall plants or trees, are luminescent. One such genus is Lucidota. All fireflies glow as larvae. Bioluminescence serves a different function in lampyrid larvae than it does in adults. It appears to be a warning signal to predators, since many firefly larvae contain chemicals that are distasteful or toxic.



This cite explains it, but it is PDF:
http://sciencecases.org/fireflies/fireflies_notes.pdf

OK?

Ms. Pumpkin
07-01-2007, 01:49 AM
You can have mine, but you'll have to round them up yourself. Bring a BIG jar.

I hate butterflies, too. Bugs. *shudder*

Savannah
07-01-2007, 01:35 PM
I'm lining up for Ms. Pumpkin's fireflies. I've never seen them--I haven't been very far east in either Canada or the USA. I've always wondered about them, and figured it was just a geographical distribution of species. They sound enchanting. I'm sure, like fireworks, they'd be "nice" on camera, but that's not the same as seeing them in reality.

I'll take your butterflies, too, although we are blessed with those here.

Maybe I'll go to the ocean and look at the phosper... phosphorescence in the waves tonight. That's all I've got for a 'glow' that I can think of!

Joey P
07-01-2007, 04:08 PM
They sound enchanting. !
They 'enchant' the crap out of dogs.
There's one, I'm gonna eat it---WTF where'd it go :confused:

I wouldn't call them enchanting. Neat...interesting...fun to watch, but not really enchating.
If you've never seen one*, it's not a nice warm glow, slowly flying around.
They only stay lit for a second or two (enough time to travel just a few feet) and it's a bight flourescent green color.
However, if you do happen upon them someday, make sure you take the oppertunity to swat at a few of them. If you hit them hard enough, they light up as they whiz through the air or you can smush them on the sidewalk for a glow in the dark trail.

*'one is a bad term. That should be 'if you've never seen them. When they come out, they usually come out in full force and you see them all over the place.

T_SQUARE
07-01-2007, 06:19 PM
I've often wondered if many people freak out the first time they see a firefly, if they had never heard of them before.

There are lots of fireflies in Malaysia, but they seem to behave a little differently than the ones in North America.

WhyNot
07-01-2007, 06:43 PM
.... :(

It never occurred to me that y'all didn't have fireflies. That actually makes me a little sad....and it makes me appreciate the little guys a little more.

freckafree
07-01-2007, 07:28 PM
Savannah, they ARE enchanting. I don't care what Joey P says.

There is nothing like that moment when twlilight is waining and the lightning bugs rise up out of the meadow or lawn.

Squink
07-01-2007, 08:17 PM
There is nothing like that moment when twlilight is waining and the lightning bugs rise up out of the meadow or lawn.Yup, lightning bugs are one of many excellent reasons to go roaming in the gloaming round these parts.

bouv
07-01-2007, 08:43 PM
Hippies. Fireflies hate hippies.

That can't be it, cause we totally got both.

Zoe
07-02-2007, 02:29 AM
I read once about fireflies that glowed on and off as a group. It was as if they had a timer on. Anyone know anything about them?

SkipMagic
07-02-2007, 06:03 AM
According to this (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE3D91F39F933A15750C0A96E948260), although members of the firefly family are found in the western US, ones that fly around flashing are not found much farther west than Kansas City.
We Kansas Citians get all the cool toys.

control-z
07-02-2007, 10:43 AM
I was just thinking the other night that fireflies ("lightning bugs" is what we call them) probably aren't seen across the US. I'd call them enchanting, nothing like a quiet starry summer night with little blinks of pale yellow all around. Kids love to catch them about dusk, if it gets too dark you can't see them except the 1/2 second they blink.

I might catch a couple too...

elmwood
07-02-2007, 11:12 AM
I'm curious about the firefly dead zone around Buffalo.

Cleveland has fireflies. Erie has Fireflies. Rochester has fireflies. Buffalo has ... nothing.

BMax
07-02-2007, 11:59 AM
Lightning bugs are one thing I miss about my childhood near St. Louis.

I thought they were absent from the western states due to altitude or dry weather, but if they're not in Washington or Oregon that can't be it.

And it's not hippies, we have damn few of those in the Big Square Red States®.

T_SQUARE
07-02-2007, 12:38 PM
I read once about fireflies that glowed on and off as a group. It was as if they had a timer on. Anyone know anything about them?

That sounds like what the fireflies I saw in Malaysia were doing. A group would be chilling in a particular tree and light up and then go dark pretty much together.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
07-02-2007, 12:49 PM
Having lived almost my entire life in Southern California, I can say that fireflies are one of those things we hear about but never see, like snow and real rivers. Fireflies must need moist air or something.

Is it true they only light up when descending?

control-z
07-02-2007, 12:52 PM
Is it true they only light up when descending?

Not that I've noticed.

Squink
07-02-2007, 01:44 PM
Not that I've noticed.Usually, they light up when ascending.

Colibri
07-02-2007, 02:08 PM
Having lived almost my entire life in Southern California, I can say that fireflies are one of those things we hear about but never see, like snow and real rivers. Fireflies must need moist air or something.

The larvae eat snails and slugs, so they do prefer moist areas.

Is it true they only light up when descending?

Each species has its own unique pattern of flashing. In adults the flashes are used as courtship signals between males and females.

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