Some folks know them as “fireflies”, others call them “lightning bugs”. Several years ago, I started a one-man crusade to come up with a better common name for these bioluminescent beetles. They are not flies, and they don’t make fire. They are not bugs, and they don’t make lightning. But they are beetles and they flash, so I started calling them “flash beetles”. C’mon, say it with me: “flash beetle”. It’s accurate, and it’s still just as much fun to say as firefly or lightning bug.
With all our weird weather this growing season, I shouldn’t be surprised to see other weird things happening. We are now in our SECOND flash beetle season this year. They emerged and delighted us in May and June as they have every spring we’ve been here. This is about a month ahead of when we enjoyed them in Upstate NY years ago, but it’s been happening at the same time each year. The weird thing this year is that over the past week or so, they’ve COME BACK. We’ve got them all over the place in the evenings, and it’s a real treat. I need to do some digging now to determine just how unusual this is.
God bless the flash beetles!
Update, 7/22/14 from Science Bob: