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