Subject: Male and Female Fireflies
Location: Mahoning Valley, Ohio
August 6, 2013
Astute visitors to our website know that our editorial staff has been out of the office since July 30 due to family matters. Northeast Ohio where we stayed has had an unusual summer. Spring was late and tomatoes are just beginning to ripen in August. The local corn was quite delicious. July was very wet and August was unseasonably cool. The first week of August produced several thunderstorms and the nights were warm. We were thrilled that there was a nice population of Fireflies lighting up the early evening and fond memories of our youth flooded back.
We did manage to capture and photograph a nice male Firefly, but he flew off after getting a single image, so we attempted a second capture. There was a flickering signal coming from a phlox plant in the flower garden at the family home, so we captured the bioluminescent insect only to discover that it had vestigial wings, indicating a female of the species.
We took her indoors, cooled her in the refrigerator for a few minutes and got some relatively decent images using the long obsolete digital camera we took with us specifically to photograph the insects we encountered. There are probably thousands of identification requests and comments that accumulated in our mailbox during our two and a half week absence that are awaiting our immediate attention, but we can’t resist posting a few of our own submissions as we try to post the most interesting letters that arrived while we were away. Perhaps one of our more knowledgeable readers will be able to identify the genus or species of Firefly we have photographed.