Tag Archives: drought

The times, they are a-changin’

We can sense the change all around us – Earth’s climate is shifting. Our summers are getting hotter, and precipitation patterns are getting more extreme. But climate change doesn’t just affect human beings. It’s a game-changer for all of Earth’s living things. So maybe you’re wondering – how will fireflies react to such fundamental changes?

Glowing hotter

Everyone knows Earth’s temperature is rising. You’ve probably noticed that many flowers have now started to bloom earlier. So it’s not surprising that fireflies may also start “flowering” earlier. Like many seasonal creatures, fireflies depend on local soil and air temperatures for cues about when to emerge. With warmer temperatures, firefly eggs and larvae can grow more quickly and so will become breeding adults sooner. This already seems to be happening in at least one firefly species.

noaa-2016-temp-us-anom-201606-201608

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How does drought impact fireflies?

Fireflies need moisture during all of their life stages, especially their eggs and their long-lasting larval stage. Firefly larvae in the U.S. live in either soil or rotting wood, and this juvenile stage lasts up to 2 years in temperate latitudes.

US Drought Map Nov 2016

Dry conditions mean fewer fireflies in future years.

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