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Frisky Fireflies Have Got To Be Flashy

Fireflies can put on quite a dazzling display. However, it is not us that they are trying to impress.

firefly

Photo: Terry Priest

Fireflies use their flash to communicate with each other.

When we are sitting on our front porches or taking an evening stroll, the soft glow of a firefly adds a mysterious beauty to the summer night air.

But did you ever wonder why fireflies glow? The answer is that fireflies use their flash to communicate with each other. More specifically, they use it as a sort of visual mating call.

What is even more dazzling than a single firefly, is a whole group of fireflies, glowing in sync. Have you ever witnessed this impressive display?

Some scientists propose fireflies synchronize their flashing patterns to enhance the visibility of their mating calls.

Read More:

  • Fireflies’ Flashy Mates Have to be in Sync (NewScientist)
  • Male Fireflies Flicker in Sync to Catch a Female’s Eye (Discover)

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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