What Are Some Facts About Lightening Bugs?

lightening-bugs Credit: Steven Puetzer/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Lightning bugs, also known as "fireflies," can often be seen twinkling in the night, however, a surprising fact is that they are not insects. According to About.com, lightning bugs are actually beetles that fly using their hard shell wings.

Another interesting fact about lightning bugs is that they use their natural flashing light to communicate with each other. When they are observed flying and flashing in groups they are likely sending signals that have significant meaning. For instance, a male lightning bug may signal to a female that it's available as a mate. However, males from related species should watch out, because the females are known to mimic signals just to attract a male for a tasty meal.

People lucky enough to visit the Great Smokey Mountains National Park may be treated to a special firefly show. About.com notes that scientists have observed a species known as Photinus carolinus that actually flashes their lights with precision timing. Asia is the only other region in the world to see this harmonious light show. These beetles have the ability to produce light throughout their entire lives; even the larvae light up. Another thing that larvae do is feast on snails and worms.