Aren’t fireflies just the coolest? For most of us, they remind us of our childhood where it seems we spent a lot more time outdoors than our own children do. As I shared with my kids some of those memories of catching “lightning bugs” in a jar, the homeschool mom in me decided to go one step further and have them help me research some fun facts, find a craft to do, and of course, share a new printable.
Fun Facts about Fireflies
- They’re not actually flies at all! They’re beetles.
- There are over 2,000 species of fireflies! Their scientific name is Lampyridae. (It’s the Greek word for “light.”)
- Fireflies of different species flash in different patterns.
- Their light shows are almost always an audition for a mate.
- Not all species are capable of lighting up. Instead, some use pheromones to attract mates.
- When fireflies are attacked, they shed drops of blood. The blood contains poisonous chemicals that create a bitter taste. Most animals have learned this and avoid munching on fireflies.
- The average lifespan of a firefly is 2 months.
If you decide to collect fireflies to observe for a few hours, do not punch holes in the lid. They need humid, moist air to survive, and there will be plenty of air in the jar for several hours. Just be sure to release them close to where you collected them!
Life Cycle of a Firefly-Printable Pack
In our firefly printable pack, there are 11 pages highlighting the Life Cycle of the Firefly! Have your little ones color the pages, or have your older kiddos fill out the factoids on each page! This is great for grades 2 – 5! When you’re all done creating your mini book, grab a Mason jar and head outside at dark to see if you’re able to catch any of these magical creatures! Have fun & happy learning!
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Interested in studying the wildlife in your own backyard this summer? You may also enjoy some of these other insect and life-cycle studies!