What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mysterious bright green glow–bugs?
Location: Carlsbad, CA
July 9, 2014 9:09 am
Last nite our friend took us to their rental home here in Carlsbad, CA to show us some mysterious glowing objects. I could not believe my eyes. In several nearby trees there were many dozens of bright, emerald green glowing objects that seemed to be about the size of a marble. We guessed there were 100 – 200 spread out over half a dozen trees in four different home’s backyards. None were low enough to the ground to observe, all were 15 to 30 feet high in the trees. The objects did not move, the glow was continuous, not flashing like a firefly. I’ve loved insects all my life, so I am more familiar with them than most people, but this has me completely stumped. Could it be a prank? Don’t know. If it is, there is no way to figure out how anyone could do it. If you have any ideas about what this phenomenon could be, let me know. Worst case I’ll drive back to the neighborhood and start asking the neighbors about it.
Signature: Doug H

Poorly focused image of greenery

Poorly focused image of greenery

Dear Doug,
The image you submitted is a poorly focused image of greenery in the sun, not a night shot of glowing insects.

Daniel,  I know, I don’t have an image of the “light mystery” because they were not accessible.  I was hoping that a description alone might be sufficient.

Thanks for the clarification Doug.  We often receive “crank” identification requests with doctored images, and though there was a note of seriousness in your request, the image you included was obviously not the phenomenon you were inquiring about.  The only glowing insect that comes to mind that is found in California is the California Glowworm, but to the best of our knowledge, they are not found in trees.  Perhaps one of our readers will provide some insight into the bioluminescent phenomenon you witnessed.

I may go back over to that neighborhood and see if I can get close to one of the glowing objects.  I’ll let you know when I do.  I won’t give up on this.
None of the glowing objects were lower on the trees than about 15 feet above the ground, and there were a couple of hundred.

We are very curious about this Doug, and we hope to get a followup report with images.

Well my friends, the sad truth is that I went over the neighborhood w/ the glowing lights in the trees, and I asked a homeowner if he know the source. He sure did…he bought some special projection lights from Disney that cast green glowing dots all over the place!!!!  Go figure.  I swear, I looked really carefully to see if these things could be faked, but nothing was obvious, esp at a distance.  Sorry for the false alarm.

Thanks for solving the mystery Doug.  We are sorry to learn you were the victim of a hoax.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Carlsbad, California

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