—written by Jordan using information from a Tribune-Review newspaper article, NightLights (July 23, 2007).
During the summer I like to have sleepovers with my friends. We like to stay up all night and watch movies, eat popcorn—and catch lightning bugs.
We catch the bugs with our hands. It’s safe to catch them in our hands because they don’t bite. (to view photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/3413427300/in/photostream/) Lightning bugs aren’t hard to catch because they blink. You put the lightning bugs in a jar and you put grass on the bottom so they have something to crawl around on. Don’t put holes in the top because there is already enough air in the jar. You put an apple slice in the jar to keep the air moist.
You keep them in the jar until the next morning, then you let them go, so they don’t die.
Lightening bugs are not really bugs, they are beetles called fireflies. The firefly is an insect. Flies are an insect that has one pair of wings.
It takes lightening bugs only a few blinks to find a mate. The blinks come from their abdomen. Lady lightening bugs like brighter blinks. They are usually in the grass making a nest.
Bioluminescence is the name of the light that comes from lightning bugs. The light is the result of a chemical reaction between oxygen, Luciferin and Luciferase. Few land animals are bioluminescent.
Most animals deep in the ocean are bioluminescent.
The firefly is Pennsylvania’s state insect. It was made the made the state insect April 10, 1974. There is one firefly named Photuris Pennsylvanica.
To view photos click on
I hope you have fun catching fireflies. But remember, let them go free the next morning.
Click on this website for further information: www.suite101.com/article.cfm/science_surfing/65368 and check the CHILDRENS category in the Beanery Online Literary Magazine for more stories written by the younger people in our communities.