For over three decades, children across the U.S. spent their summers hunting fireflies for profit. The Sigma Firefly Scientists' Club, a subsidiary of the Sigma Chemical Company (now Sigma-Aldrich), paid kids a penny for each lightning bug they captured and returned to the company before quietly shuttering in the mid-1990s. Today, one of Sigma-Aldrich's few remaining jars of desiccated firefly tails (lanterns) can be yours for the low, low price of 392USD. But what did they want all those fireflies for in the first place? [more inside]
F**k yeah, fireflies! Long exposures of Photuris lucicrescens in video (and faster) and photos. Hold still for a few moments and you'll see glowing dots, or set your camera alone for over an hour and they're dashes flitting about.
Fireflies in Houston. As a kid growing up in Houston, I remember going out into the front yard every evening and seeing hundreds and hundreds of fireflies dancing through the air, one of the most magical memories of childhood. As I grew older, their numbers declined, slowly but surely (in fact, at one point as a kid, I thought I was partially responsible as I'd caught so many of 'em in Flintstones jelly jars). Now back in Houston as an adult, I haven't seen a one, and am wondering, where have all the fireflies gone? This site aims to tell you, and it's not just for Houstonians.