Home & Garden: Lightning in a Beetle Home & Garden

Fireflies are not flies at all; they are nocturnal, winged beetles. The most common species, Photinus pyralis, uses light for finding mates and for luring prey.

SOURCES: Eric R. Day, manager, Insect Identification Laboratory, Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech; "Fireflies at One Hundred Plus: A New Look at Flash Control," Helen Ghiradella and John Schmidt, Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Albany; IILUSTRATIONS: By Brenna Maloney And James Smallwood - For The Washington Post

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