Fireflies are generally purchased or caught to be released at weddings or other special events. Another reason that fireflies might be purchased is so that they can be used for research purposes. Chemicals that fireflies naturally produce can be used in biomedical research as well as food safety testing.
Fireflies actually consist of more than 2,000 species in the family of Lampyridae. The name lightning bug is also commonly used for fireflies because of their bioluminescence. Research shows that some species of fireflies are considered at risk in certain areas of the world because their natural habitats are being destroyed.