Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Creation Close-Ups: Lightning Bugs

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name; worship 
the LORD in the beauty of holiness. -Psalm 29:2

       Some interesting facts about lightning bugs:

  • There are about 2,000 firefly species.
  •  Fireflies are very efficient light producers. An average electric light bulb gives off 90% of its energy as heat, and only 10% as light. Fireflies produce light through an efficient chemical reaction that allows them to glow without wasting heat energy. All 100% of the energy goes into making light. Scientists are not sure how the insects regulate this process to turn their lights on and off. (There are a lot of things than scientists simply "can't explain"... why can't they just give God the glory?!)
  • Fireflies (also called lightning bugs) are beetles. They take from one to two years to mature from larvae, but will live as adults for only about 21 days. 
  •  Some fireflies synchronize their flash signals. (I found this information very interesting!) Synchronous fireflies are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns. The fireflies do not always flash in unison. They may flash in waves across hillsides, and at other times will flash randomly. Synchrony occurs in short bursts that end with abrupt periods of darkness. This simultaneous bioluminescence, as its called by scientists, occurs in just two places in the world: southeast Asia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, right here in the U.S.A.

What do lightning bugs eat?

While in the larval stage, the insects feed on worms, snails, and other small, soft-bodied creatures. However, interestingly enough, scientists aren't sure what many species of adult fireflies eat. It is possible that adult species of fireflies eat pollen and nectar from plants, other species of bugs, or possibly nothing at all—as their adult lifespans are short.

Do firefly eggs glow?

They sure do! In some species, the larvae and even the eggs emit light. Firefly eggs have been observed to flash in response to stimulus such as gentle tapping or vibrations.

...who is so great a God as our God? Thou art 
the God that doest wonders: Thou hast declared 
Thy strength among the people. Psalm 77:13b-14

1 comment:

A Heart of Praise said...

Loved reading this info on lightning bugs! :) I wish we had more of them up where we live, I've only seen a few, I think it was last summer. They sure are amazing!