Firefly (Lightning Bug)

Their flashing lights can turn a summer evening into a time of magic. Here's the insect that's responsible.
Firefly

Firefly

The adult firefly

The adult firefly

Flashing above the lawn and in the trees in the early summer evenings, the firefly engages in its mating rituals, blinking on and off in a pattern that's unique to one of the many sub-species.

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

The larval stage of the firefly bears little resemblance to the adult it will become.

The larval stage of the firefly bears little resemblance to the adult it will become.

These insects — actually small beetles — go through a complete metamorphosis. The adults look nothing like the larvae.

The eating patterns between young and old are very different too: Larvae feed on snails, slugs, earthworms and insect larvae; adult fireflies — if they eat at all — feed on nectar and pollen. 

Glowworms are cousins of fireflies but lack wings.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Shade Gardening Secrets

Learn how to choose shade-tolerant plants for your garden.

Squash Bugs in the Garden

Early detection of a squash bug problem is essential for preserving crops. Once an infestation is underway, management is difficult.

Stink Bugs in the Garden

Because the stink bug releases its unpleasant scent when crushed, drowning may be preferred to squashing.

Keyhole Gardening Tips

Try this inexpensive, green solution to growing food in drought-prone terrain.

Wildflower Gardening

Love wildflowers? Create a meadow using these tips as a guide.

14 Simple Gardening Tips and Tricks

From using leftover coffee beans to preventing dirt from getting underneath fingernails, master gardener Paul James shares his top 14 tips and shortcuts to make spring gardening a breeze.

Bug Off: Get the Earwigs Out of My Garden!

Learn why earwigs give Gayla the willies.

Topiary Gardening Tips

Create a showstopping garden sculpture with expert topiary care and maintenance tips for beginners.

Organic Gardening Demystified

Compost tea, insecticidal soap and flamers help you go "green" in the yard.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.