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Hunt for Fireflies

Here are four ways to have fun with fireflies on a warm summer night.

Ranger Rick
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Average Rating:
Participant Age: 7 to 12, Under 7
Approximate Cost: $0
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Flashlight
  • Jar
Watch the Light Show

Look for males flashing as they fly and females twinkling in one place. See if you can figure out their flash patterns. Are they all one species or several different ones?

Talk Back

Using a small flashlight, try imitating the patterns you see. If you flash the male's pattern, a female may flash back. Try the female's response; you may lure a male right to your fingertips!

Catch and Release

For a close-up look, catch a few fireflies in a jar. Check them out and then let them go, of course.

Be Firefly-Friendly

Make your neighborhood a good habitat for fireflies. Turn off bright outdoor lights, which "drown out" fireflies' messages. Avoid lawn chemicals. Plant trees, shrubs, and grasses to provide places for the beetles to rest and hide. Then sit back and enjoy the light show!


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