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(The New York Times)   Tiny lights go out as firefly populations dwindle   (nytimes.com) divider line 116
    More: Sad, Raine Lyons, mosquito repellent, river systems, Greenville County, symposium, light pollution  
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8297 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Aug 2014 at 10:00 PM (17 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-17 11:14:01 PM  
Not shiny.
 
2014-08-17 11:20:25 PM  

New Age Redneck: Can't believe nobody posted Zappa's "City of Tiny Lights".....


Seeing as one of my favorite memories was watching a field of fireflies on a hot night while on valium, I'm getting a kick, etc.
 
2014-08-17 11:21:15 PM  

This text is now purple: in Lawrence, Kansas.


no less

just outside the city limits somewhere
 
2014-08-17 11:26:34 PM  

whidbey: Even with the DVD sales. Depressing.


What you did there, I see it. (Tips hat).
 
2014-08-17 11:31:02 PM  
A number of years ago there was extended construction on my street during the summer, with a long row of barricades with the flashing amber lights. If you watched you would see the fireflies/lightning bugs flashing an unusually fast (brief) blink. They were matching duration of the construction lights. It was sort of sad to think that those bugs were trying to flirt with the constructions barricades.
 
2014-08-17 11:34:34 PM  

hlehmann: Growing up in western PA,  I remember seeing fireflys by the thousands on most summer evenings.  We used catch them and keep them in a jar as a night light.
Moved west when I grew up, can't say I've seen a single one in over 35 years.


I guess they don't live out west. I saw some in south Texas once. But just a few. They were thick in Kentucky when we lived there--but only out at my aunt and uncle's, in the country.

color me shocked that they're disappearing. I was hoping it was just because I moved.
 
2014-08-17 11:37:44 PM  
I did see a couple on different evenings this summer, but there used to be a lot more. And I remember swarms of them in western PA and in VA 25 years ago.
 
2014-08-17 11:41:04 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com

Maybe she caught too many?
 
2014-08-17 11:42:35 PM  
Moving from Alberta to Southern Indiana I was astounded at seeing fireflies for the first time. My wife has noticed the decline in fireflies more than I have, having grown up with them, but we do our best to keep them going. Good part of our acreage is fallow, remains unmowed or landscaped year-round, and the little buggers and other rural wildlife love it. She actually saw firefly nymphs for the first time this year. It's great doing our part to help the local environment.
 
2014-08-17 11:45:31 PM  

moeburn: Growing up in the 90's, I never understood all the references to fireflies on TV and in cartoons.  In my entire 25 years of living, I have encountered fireflies a total of once.  And that's not to say I don't go outdoors - I live in Toronto, but I regularly camp all across southern Ontario, and I've also camped in every state from Michigan to California to Washington and between.


Ditto... I only remember seeing them once as a kid, and that was in northern Ohio. I also recall a decent showing from them one night near Sauble Beach a few years ago. Those are the only two instances that stick out in my memory. To me, they're about as rare as those cicadas that come out every other decade.
 
2014-08-17 11:47:32 PM  
... guess they heard about Miyazaki's retirement, and Studio Ghibli.
 
2014-08-17 11:48:46 PM  
Seems like the normal amount here in southeast Michigan. They usually show up around the 4th of July.
 
2014-08-17 11:52:31 PM  

sifr: [1.bp.blogspot.com image 300x187]

Maybe she caught too many?


Came for the GOTFF reference, leaving... well, depressed
 
2014-08-17 11:54:28 PM  

The_Mad_Dutchman: Moving from Alberta to Southern Indiana I was astounded at seeing fireflies for the first time. My wife has noticed the decline in fireflies more than I have, having grown up with them, but we do our best to keep them going. Good part of our acreage is fallow, remains unmowed or landscaped year-round, and the little buggers and other rural wildlife love it. She actually saw firefly nymphs for the first time this year. It's great doing our part to help the local environment.


Good on you all!

/wish more folks made small local efforts like this
//it adds up in the aggregate
 
2014-08-18 12:02:30 AM  

fusillade762: I bet they're cursing their sudden but inevitable betrayal.


Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle.
 
2014-08-18 12:04:23 AM  

sifr: [1.bp.blogspot.com image 300x187]

Maybe she caught too many?


Came for the reference, leaving illuminated.
 
2014-08-18 12:06:10 AM  
As a kid, my daughter liked to pull their tails off and rub streaks down her face with it... like an indian at night.

/I told her not to do it or she'll decimate the population
//she's still doing it
 
2014-08-18 12:11:45 AM  
lightning bug, not firefly.
pork roll, not taylor ham.
potato bug, not rolly polly.
soda, not pop.
the shore, not beach.

/NJ.
 
2014-08-18 12:11:57 AM  
Call Al Gore!
 
2014-08-18 12:14:14 AM  
I remember, as a teenager, when we'd visit my Grandmas in South Texas, and at night the fields would be rife with these critters. We'd catch them, put them in glass jars, but they'd be dead come dawn.  A few years back, I noticed the lower number of bugs, and lamented it, citing pesticides.Well, that and suburbs.
 
2014-08-18 12:15:03 AM  
Growing up my grandmother lived next to an abandoned farm. When we visited in the summer that whole field would be a glow with lightning bugs. We would catch jar-fills of them. They soon paved that farm over and built an Ingles. Not so many lightning bugs there anymore. They seem to really suffer with any land development.
 
2014-08-18 12:17:29 AM  

People Who Annoy You: lightning bug, not firefly.
pork roll, not taylor ham.
potato bug, not rolly polly.pill bug you stupid Jersey jerk!
soda, not pop.
the shore, not beach.

/NJ.


:)
 
2014-08-18 12:25:15 AM  

Oreamnos: A number of years ago there was extended construction on my street during the summer, with a long row of barricades with the flashing amber lights. If you watched you would see the fireflies/lightning bugs flashing an unusually fast (brief) blink. They were matching duration of the construction lights. It was sort of sad to think that those bugs were trying to flirt with the constructions barricades.


The good news is that they give up after a minute or so. They determine compatibility by whether or not they can match beat frequencies.
 
2014-08-18 12:30:50 AM  

majestic: Truegreen chemlawn to blame?


Quite possible.

I can think countless things I would spend my money on first before something like a more consistent and greener lawn.

Never understood the obsession.  Sure, it looks nice.  But Fall comes and it goes dormant and Winter comes and they salt the roads and the plows chuck the salt onto it and you end up with dead patches.  If anything those dead patches save you a few seconds from the miserable task of having to mow on a weekly basis.

We do have fireflies on the side yard.  I guess I'm doing something right.
 
2014-08-18 12:32:06 AM  
Why do fireflies have to die so soon?

/haven't seen one in over 30 years
 
2014-08-18 12:33:34 AM  
Down here in Galveston, we have beetles that have two green lights on either side of their heads and when they are turned on their backs they snap their heads against their thorax and 'click!' they can pop about three inches off the ground.  They are known around here as lightning bugs, fireflies, and/or click beetles. Dark brown in color.  Long and thin body shape.

Anyway, after Ike there were none.  Zero for years.  But now they are back in force along with cicadas.  My kids love chasing them around the backyard in the evenings. The lightfireclick beetles, not cicadas.

Hey I found this!

This is one that's clicking:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH4roWTUMoA

And one that's lightning up:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx6nDVG7WzU

Cool stuff.
 
2014-08-18 12:40:09 AM  
This will not end well.

moviesmedia.ign.com
 
2014-08-18 12:42:26 AM  

cchris_39: Loved lightning bugs. Back in the day we hit them with whiffle ball bats.


You too?

I was thrilled I managed to catch one last week to show my toddler. It was one of only a handful I could see on our block. Wasn't like that when I was a kid.
 
2014-08-18 12:47:51 AM  
I've noticed a steady decline over the years BUT, this year I've seen more in a week than I usually see in an entire year over the past... guessing past 8 years, anyhow.  And, much brighter than usual.
I was relaxing in the Jacuzzi a few weeks ago and one was so bright, right against the window, I started to get out and... well, would have been testing out how much damage my new hollow points would do. But, by time I'd sat up, it flashed again... then again. It was easily as bright as the "flash light app on my iPod Touch 4th Gen... even reflected off blinds.

/yes, sappy, but I haev missed seeing the "fireworks" effect of the fireflies until this year...
 
2014-08-18 12:48:25 AM  
Mr. Lyons, perched on his knee next to Raine, was almost completely silent as he tapped the screen of his cellphone again and again and again.

Probably texting his squeeze.
 
2014-08-18 12:51:24 AM  
Central MD here. It *used* to be lit up every night. I kinda miss the show.
 
2014-08-18 12:56:01 AM  

Morchella: We had a really good firefly year here in northernish Indiana. It was good to see all of them after several years of barely any.


They are still active here in Warsaw, almost 1:am. We've had just as many as last year.
 
2014-08-18 12:57:19 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: People Who Annoy You: lightning bug, not firefly.
pork roll, not taylor ham.
potato bug, not rolly polly.pill bug you stupid Jersey jerk!
soda, not pop.
the shore, not beach.

/NJ.

:)


both of y'all are pickle heads!
Lightning bug, firefly, click beetle
Pork rolls are Asian cuisine, I do not know a Taylor that keeps pigs
Doodle bugs
and no matter what flavor of soda pop it's all Coke.
and it's the beach

Fascists...
 
2014-08-18 01:03:10 AM  

northguineahills: I see an occasional few here and there in Brooklyn, but never any in Manhattan.  That said, when going to rural upstate, or WV or VA, i see less then I remember 15 years ago, but it could a biased memory.


I've seen several in Stuyvesant town this summer, as well as a full sized hawk on a bench, with in six feet of where I was standing....
 
2014-08-18 01:08:33 AM  

Delfins: ArcadianRefugee: People Who Annoy You: lightning bug, not firefly.
pork roll, not taylor ham.
potato bug, not rolly polly.pill bug you stupid Jersey jerk!
soda, not pop.
the shore, not beach.

/NJ.

:)

both of y'all are pickle heads!
Lightning bug, firefly, click beetle
Pork rolls are Asian cuisine, I do not know a Taylor that keeps pigs
Doodle bugs
and no matter what flavor of soda pop it's all Coke.
and it's the beach

Fascists...


Waitaminnit now, waitaminnit.

These

www.amentsoc.org

are click beetles,

And this ugly prick

upload.wikimedia.org

is a doodle bug.

I hate to agree with anyone from Jersey, but you're talking crazy talk.
/seriously, I'd never before now known that some people call those other guys click beetles or doodle bugs
/I won't even touch on the "Coke" craziness
 
2014-08-18 01:22:58 AM  

New Age Redneck: Can't believe nobody posted Zappa's "City of Tiny Lights".....


Couple of lyric references earlier in the thread.
 
2014-08-18 01:28:43 AM  

stan unusual: New Age Redneck: Can't believe nobody posted Zappa's "City of Tiny Lights".....

Couple of lyric references earlier in the thread.


It's ov-er there....
 
2014-08-18 01:33:45 AM  
I grew up in a remotish suburb of Pittsburgh and on steamy summer nights they'd be everywhere.  Then I started living in urbanized areas and never saw them again, and I really don't see them now that I'm in California.  Seriously cannot remember the last time I saw one.

Honestly, I think that the longer you live on Earth the more likely you are to tune them out, same as cricket chirps.  Seriously, do you really even notice crickets unless there's a really loud one nearby or you force yourself to pay attention?  I've probably seen thousands of fireflies in the last 15 years but I just never noticed them.
 
2014-08-18 02:55:07 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: click beetles


Weird. I saw one of those get caught in a spider's web just last night. It was seriously about five times the size of the spider that was trying to corral it. Made quite the racket.
 
2014-08-18 03:00:40 AM  
With every irreplaceable species that is decimated because of the ignorance and greed of people, I hate humanity a little more.
 
2014-08-18 03:43:01 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: And this ugly prick

upload.wikimedia.org

is a doodle bug


An ant lion?
 
2014-08-18 05:04:26 AM  

psychosis_inducing: ArcadianRefugee: And this ugly prick

upload.wikimedia.org

is a doodle bug

An ant lion?


In Africa?
 
2014-08-18 05:20:33 AM  

OtherLittleGuy: DAMN YOU, FOX!


+1
 
2014-08-18 07:09:17 AM  
Maybe not as many as we used to have but there's still plenty here. I find them when I take a piss outside at night.
 
2014-08-18 07:54:18 AM  

Walker: We call them lightning bugs here son.


www.imcdb.org

img4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-08-18 08:29:49 AM  
If I start thinking about Grave of the Fireflies, I'm gonna cry.
 
2014-08-18 08:57:10 AM  
I remember seeing fireflies in Florida when I was very small child. We would occasionally see them in our backyard and some friends of my family had a nice healthy population in their bamboo garden. But I haven't seen a single one in this state in AT LEAST 30 years. Sad. I love fireflies.
 
2014-08-18 08:58:29 AM  
Sad :(

My guess is completely unnecessary pesticide  is what kills most of them.  If the pesticide doesn't kill them, it kills their food ( which is grubs and things that usually is the reason for the pesticide )
According to the googles their larval stage lasts 2 years, with only 6 months above ground, if that.

/Obligatory Firefly Reference
//I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you
 
2014-08-18 09:21:01 AM  

Hector Remarkable: Are they sure that it's not that every little boy collected a jar of them with holes in the top, and it all just added up? Because as far as I can tell, every little boy did this, and has been doing it for a while, and that's a lot of mayonnaise jars full of fireflies when you think about it.
Same way they don't want people throwing pebbles into the Grand Canyon. Next thing you know, it's all filled up.


I think there is something to be said for people noticing that the hole would be filling up.  Once you have a good 200' layer of pepples across the thing, people would probably stop throwing them in.
 
2014-08-18 09:22:53 AM  
Why, oh why, does it have to be fireflies? Why can't mosquitoes or gnats be vanishing instead?
 
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