I was just talking about fireflies and thought it would make a great blog post. What are they? What do they look like? What makes them glow? I don't know, so I thought I'd look it up.
I know the campground has TONS of them. If you look up towards the playground, or around the bowling lane at night you can see them dancing and playing around.
This is what the little fellas look like. (The picture is from sciencecheerleader.com) Now that I see them in the light, I'm pretty sure I've seen them around.
They are extremely harmless. Well to humans anyway. They don't bite, they don't pinch, they aren't poisonous. When they are attacked they do release a "blood" type stuff that doesn't taste very good to their predators.
The fireflies that are flying around blinking are the males. The females blink from a perch, either the ground or a shrub. If the female like the strength and length of the male's blink, she will blink back to let the male know where she is.
There are three different species of firelies, and they each have there own way of flashing. They are different in color, length, the number of blinks and the time of night when they come out to play.
In their belly's there are special cells. These cells combine oxygen and three chemicals to produce the light. Luciferin, ATP and Luciferase.
The chemicals Luciferin and Luciferase are used in medical research to treat cancer, multiple scleroses and heart disease.
And now you know what I know about fireflies.