Friday, June 19, 2015

State Insect

Venturing into MACROs so . . .
 This week's Critter is tiny.

Photuris pensylvanica, known by the common names Pennsylvania firefly, lightning bug,[ and (in its larval state) glowworm, is a species of firefly from the United States and Canada.

An iconic symbol of summer — the flashing firefly — is disappearing nationally but appears to be alive, well and thriving in Western Pennsylvania, according to experts.
Firefly facts
• The firefly — officially named “Photuris pennsylvanica” — is Pennsylvania's state insect.
• The greenish-yellow light glows from the firefly's abdomen, the result of a chemical reaction.
• Fireflies use their light as a warning to predators at night and as part of a mating ritual.
• The glowing portion of fireflies was once used in medical research to track proteins in researching cystic fibrosis, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Now those materials are made synthetically.
• Firefly season in Pennsylvania usually runs through the mid-summer.

 Beneficial Role
Whether you know them as Lightning Bugs or Fireflies, these are beneficial insects. They don't bite, they have no pincers, they don't attack, they don't carry disease, they are not poisonous, they don't even fly very fast. The larvae of most species are specialized predators and feed on other insect larvae, snails and slugs. (They are also reported to feed on earthworms.)
 You don't want to miss:
Camera Critters


  1. Now, see...I haven't heard conniption fit in FOREVER.
    hahhaaa....I've had a few of those, too.

    When we lived in Dallas, there were lots of lightening bugs...cousins and I would pull their little lighted butts off and stick them on for bracelets...little did we realize it was their little guts that glued them to our wrists....ewwww....LOL

  2. Nice looking beast - we have some insect larvae that glow here - but I have to travel to find them.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  3. They are cool to watch in the evening, I love to see the lightning bugs. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  4. well, now I never thought about taking a picture of a firefly. Used to catch them and put them in jars to make a 'lamp'. That was when i was small. Perhaps I will look at fireflies a little differently now.

  5. We still got some here in Mississippi. Very interesting insects!

  6. i love seeing the fireflies glow pop up around the pond at night. :)

  7. Very interesting, Gayle! We've seen a few around this summer in south Texas. Have a great weekend!

  8. I have always loved lightning bugs! They are part of my fondest childhood memories, catching them and watching their glow for a while, then letting them go again. Seeing them wink in the dark is such a peaceful scene. Great post!

  9. I had no idea that the firefly was our state insect. Very cool!!!

    1. Me either. They've just sorta been part of summer.
      Now I need to study up on long exposure and get them in action at night.

  10. I love the show they put on at night.

  11. Beautiful bug with the red on its head. I used to see them as a child but they don't live here. I miss them, so romantic.

  12. One of the signs of summer I remember from being little.

  13. I always read about fireflies and remember a song "Glowworm" ... But I've never actually seen them..... They aren't in the Pacific Northwest, and that's where we spend most summers ... And where lived all the time before we retired). Maybe we should take a trip to your area!

  14. I miss these little critters. The lit up many a summer night of my childhood.


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