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Old 08-01-2005, 05:47 PM   #1
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Catching fireflies!

Last night we took our two kids (almost 3 and almost 2) in our backyard at dusk to catch fireflies. They had so much fun! My husband and I did all the catching, but they got to carry the jar around and touch them before we released them. We only kept them in jars for about 10 minutes...trying to have a good experience and be humane at the same time!

Then the bats came out. COOL! The kids weren't nearly as impressed as my husband and I were, they look just like birds to them at this age.

Does anyone know why the fireflies quit lighting up in the jars? Was it because they were still or due to lack of fresh air or some other reason? And do the bats eat fireflies? I would love to be able to answer these questions the next time we catch them and look like a super smart mom!


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Old 08-01-2005, 07:15 PM   #2
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I don't know about lighting bugs but they like moths alot. As for why they don't light up on a jar i don't know they usually do light up alot.

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Old 08-01-2005, 07:24 PM   #3
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They should still light up in a jar. Some species light up only around dusk and then stop lighting up when it's completely dark. Other species only light up when it is completely dark. We use to catch them outside and let them go in the house so we could see them flashing around in our bedrooms. They do need fresh air so in the future I would poke holes in the lid of the jar but if you only kept them for ten minutes I don't think they ran out of air. My guess would be they are the dusk light up kind that stop lighting up when it gets darker and it got darker while they were in the jar.
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:01 PM   #4
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I saw a firefly for the first time in about 10 years a few months ago
That is so neat that you were able to catch some =o)

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Old 08-02-2005, 03:19 AM   #5
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Fireflies usually continue to light in hars for several hours, but their activity is regulated partially by temperature, so that mauy have been a factor, as well as being out of their normal habitat (air movement, phermones, etc). The bats were not likely eating any....fireflies, apart from being toxic, taste absolutely terrible.
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:05 AM   #6
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I've read that they use the oxygen in the air to produce the light they give off and like Toirtis said the temperature also plays part in it!
I read that if when you catch them poke holes in the jar and then put the jar in warm water and they will keep producing light! And of course you gotta feed them!
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:53 AM   #7
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I took my daughter to catch some on July 4th. She was always afraid of bugs until this year. I showed her the basics of the "scoop" technique. She didn't have much luck catching them, but I'm sure she'll get the hang of it. Lot's of fun and some good memories there.
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:04 AM   #8
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My kids got to catch them for the first time this summer when we went back to WV to visit. I havent seen one here the whole 7 yrs. weve been in S.C. Must be to hot.lol
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Old 08-02-2005, 03:38 PM   #9
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And I always heard that the reason they die is BECAUSE you poke holes in the jar lid. I thought you were supposed to give them a slice of apple to keep the humidity up and leave the jar closed tight.
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Old 08-02-2005, 03:42 PM   #10
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Yeah, here's a quote I found on a web site:

Fireflies don't need as much oxygen as most people think they do, they need humidity more than anything. If she finds a small jar, and puts a slice of apple in it, she should be able to keep the fireflies alive for up to 3 weeks. She should keep changing the apple though. However, keeping fireflies alive and getting them to flash like they do in the wild are two very different things. I think the best thing would be to take her kids to see fireflies, they would appreciate it more outside!!!

DO NOT PUNCH HOLE IN THE CONTAINER!!! This is the kiss of death for fireflies since they need humidity. If you bring a firefly in a container with holes into your nice dry house it will desiccate. I saw a commercial on tv for e-toys where this father buys a special firefly house for his son so they could have some father/son bonding, the firefly house had a mesh screen. The father more or less bought a firefly death-trap!!! You want to keep in as much humidity as you can. Like I said, they don't need much air, so keep the lid on tight and change the apple slice every two days, the firefly should be fine.

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