Jun 15, 06:36 PM
To see fireflies fill the evening sky like blinking, earth-bound stars makes an indelible memory, especially for a kid brought up in California. Fireflies can’t live outside the humid regions of the East and Gulf Coasts. Fireflies are becoming harder to find even in the east. This is especially true in the urban core of Rhode Island.
The lower Pawtuxet River basin is still one of the great places for watching this beetle. It’s free of light pollution, is surrounded by wetlands, and offers decaying material for the larvae to live in. The Friends of the Pawtuxet and West Bay Land Trust are hosting a walk through this area to see the fireflies in action.
There are 20-30 species of fireflies living in New England, some of which can be identified by the color and frequency by their flashing lights. Firefly flashes are actually complex signals mostly intended to attract mates; sometimes intended to deceive and attract victims.
For reasons unknown, firefly populations have been declining around the world. Some of the possible causes include pesticides, lawn care chemicals and light pollution. Firefly.org offers these suggestions for making your yard firefly-friendly:
- Turn off outside lights at night.
- Let logs and leaves accumulate.
- Create water features in your landscape.
- Avoid the use of pesticides.
- Use natural fertilizers.
- Don’t over-mow your lawn.
- Plant trees.
- Introduce earthworms.
See this magical beetle on the Firefly Walk this Thursday, June 16 at 8:45 pm.
photo by quit007