Posted by: Paraic | July 20, 2008

Things I’ll Miss – #1: Fireflies

I numbered the title of this post #1 since I think it’s something I’ll return to as I notice things that I miss from the US in settling back in Ireland.  I just returned from probably (hopefully) my last week ‘at home’ in Syracuse (‘hopefully’ because closing on our house there should happen soon).  My wife and I enjoyed several evenings sitting out on our deck and I really noticed the fireflies.  People have been commenting that they haven’t been as plentiful in recent yeras, but we enjoyed some lovely displays on several evenings.

I was explaning to my wife what I had read or watched in a documentary at some point that certain kinds of fireflies have a female that ‘fakes’ the glow (glowing is part of the mating process) of another kind of firefly soley to attract and eat unsuspecting males.  I found the following in the Wikipedia entry on fireflies:

Female Photuris fireflies are known for mimicking the mating flashes of other fireflies for the sole purpose of predation. Target males are attracted to what appears to be a suitable mate, and are then eaten. For this reason the Photuris female is sometimes referred to as “femme fatale“.

At our ‘going away’ party held in the garden of our friends’ house the fireflies were again out in force and somebody raised the question, “Hey, is it true that they don’t have fireflies in Ireland?”.  Yup it’s true.  This also led to more firefly discussion.  From this I also learned that if you ‘squish’ a firefly, say on your arm, there will be a residue left that glows for a while – and this was duly demonstrated.

I enjoyed watching the fireflies on my visit!



  1. well, that’s one firefly no one will get to enjoy…

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