TNB Night Owl – Fireflies & Glow Worms

Glow Worms at Green Glow Caves, photo by Donnie Ray Jones

Tonight, in honor of the recent transition into Spring, we’re reminding you of the warming days when fireflies (or, if you prefer, lightning bugs) tend to fill the skies with some absolutely beautiful imagery.

These small creatures are found in many parts of the United States, although they are more prevalent in places like Tennessee. They are flying insects but they neither sting nor bite.

They’ll be flashing during mating season, which typically happens between May and July (depending on the state). If you want to have a beautiful visual experience without spending a lot of cash, watch for a warm, clear night an hour or so after dusk.

On the other hand, if you don’t mind spending a lot of cash… there’s New Zealand’s Waitomo Caves.

That’s where they have boat tours through caverns illuminated with natural light… and the natural light comes from glow worms.

Here’s an example run, filmed by a person floating on an inflatable tube:

And a PBS clip that explains exactly how they work. There’s a bit of nature in this, because the worms use their illumination to capture their prey of small flying insects. But they’re still pretty.

Bioluminescence on two sides of the Earth, one for sex, one for food. Wonderful visuals in either case.

Question of the night: What’s your idea of a fun nature tour?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.