ABC-Animal  -  Wildlife Chronicle

The Firefly Ballet

When the weather is hot and humid, it is such a pleasure to watch the firefly ballet! It’s magic! I call them the fairies of the forest.

The firefly is a beetle which is more closely related to the cricket that to the fly. It can be found in the woods or fields of North America’s eastern coast. In Québec, there are 14 species of fireflies.

Its abdomen is a greenish colour and it manufactures luciferin. This substance produces light without heat and makes the firefly toxic for predators. Whether an adult or larva, male or female, it produces a luminous code similar to the morse code and specific to each species. For example, with the goal of mating, the male firefly produces a luminous code of flashes and awaits a response from a female of the same species. 

In the Summer or in a Tropical Region
Have fun on hot and humid evenings. Turn off your lights and observe the magnificent ballet of the forest fairies. 

Caroline Fortin, D.V.M.