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Desert Diary



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What could be more fun than an evening spent watching fireflies? We might not see them in the city, but they are certainly around, and they can add magic to an evening.

But other than making themselves easy to catch, why do fireflies flash? Actually, they are sending courtship signals to one another! Each kind of firefly has its own, distinct flashing pattern. This helps males and females of the same species find each other.

But one type of firefly is a trickster! Sometimes she flashes the signal for her own species, in order to find a mate. But other times, she imitates a different group! It may seem strange, until you realized that she only does this when she is hungry! Imagine an amorous male attracted to her signal. He is coming for a date, but she is searching for dinner. The poor little male is taken by surprise, and his search for love ends tragically. pen and ink

Listen to the Audio (mp3 format) as recorded by KTEP, Public Radio for the Southwest.


Contributor: Kodi R. Jeffery, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio, University of Texas at El Paso.



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