Fireflies, Lightning Bugs, and FLASH BEETLES


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.

Screen shot 2015-06-12 at 7.44.37 AM 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.

Screen shot 2015-06-12 at 7.44.52 AM

You can learn more about these fascinating creatures here and here, and see some good photos here.

God bless the flash beetles!

Update, 7/22/14 from Science Bob:

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This entry was posted in beetles, birds/nature, cinder beetle, cinder bug, Coleoptera, dialects, editorial, environment, evolution, fireflies, flash beetle, insect, kids, language, life, lightning bugs, Links, summer and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Fireflies, Lightning Bugs, and FLASH BEETLES

  1. melynda says:

    a nc lightning bug girl need more info

    Like

  2. melynda says:

    i”m so into lighting bugs!!!

    Like

  3. melynda says:

    did I get thru to you

    Like

  4. Hello Melynda, and thanks for your interest. If you’re not finding the flash beetle information you need from the links included in the post, then I can try to answer your question as best I can.
    ~tjo

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  5. MomOf2 says:

    how can one tell a male from a female?

    Like

  6. Paisley says:

    I wrote a story that takes place ina fictional world in which I renamed these charming reminders of my youth cinder beetles because they look like cinders flying up from a crackling fire when they take flight at night. I think cinder beetles sounds as charming as the insects themselves.

    Like

  7. Pam says:

    I live in South Louisiana and I haven’t seen a firefly in a long time…I use to lay in bed and watch them out my window but we just don’t see them anymore..

    Like

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  9. ramong says:

    I like the name “cinder bug”

    Like

  10. Will says:

    Since 2012, all students enrolled in Intro to Entomology at OSU were taught the new name for Lampyrids. Surely this has seeded the revolution.

    Liked by 1 person

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