Experts Claim That Urbanization And Artificial Light May Have Resulted In The Decline Of Fireflies

Image: MARIO VAZQUEZ DE LA TORRE/AFP/Getty Images / S. Rae

Many of us remember how the summer evenings of our childhoods used to begin – with the dazzling displays of fireflies. We used to watch the countless glowing orbs trailing their colors through our yards and across the darkening sky. But these days, the creatures’ light has dimmed in a lot of places, leaving gardens standing dark and empty.

Image: Dann Thombs

The term firefly has become synonymous with Joss Whedon’s noughties sci-fi TV series of the same name. But the show of course owes its title to an order of beetle – otherwise known as Lampyridae. And because of their most distinguishing feature, the creatures in this family of insects are also known as lightning bugs.