Fireflies light up in order to attract a mate. Different species will flash their lights at different rates and durations. We have experienced large numbers of these in our prairie. It’s an incredible sight with all the flashing lights – like tiny diamonds sparkling every few feet over 8 acres!
Eggs are smooth, oval, and range from white to yellow to colorless. They are laid singly or in groups in or on the ground; some species lay them at the base of grasses.
Firefly larvae require damp places such as under stones or leaf litter, in rotten logs, or in vegetation along streams. In times of dryness, they burrow into the soil because the humidity is essential to them. All are predaceous, feeding on snails and other soft-bodied entities. Photinus spends all its larval time underground and is known to specialize on earthworms. It’s thought they find their prey via chemical clues. Once found, they inject a poison that stuns the prey. These beetles spend a good deal of time as larvae, which can take a few months or up to 2 years to pupate.