albucsfan
Cool Member
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:20 pm
Location: North Alabama

Lightning bugs

Might be an odd question, but does anyone know what adult lightning bugs eat?
I keep finding them hiding under my bell pepper plant leaves during the day... Just curious more than anything... :)

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Like ants and many other insects, the adult lightening bug doesn't eat solid food, just mostly nectar. It's not eating your plants, just hiding.

Lightening bug larvae however eat all kinds of things including, get this, slugs!

https://cindyha.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/what-do-lightning-bugs-eat-an-evening-with-fireflies/
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
SPierce
Greener Thumb
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts

rainbowgardener wrote:Like ants and many other insects, the adult lightening bug doesn't eat solid food, just mostly nectar. It's not eating your plants, just hiding.

Lightening bug larvae however eat all kinds of things including, get this, slugs!

https://cindyha.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/what-do-lightning-bugs-eat-an-evening-with-fireflies/
good to know! I saw one on my pumpkin plant the other day, and was wondering- but knew it was a lightning bug so I left it!

albucsfan
Cool Member
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:20 pm
Location: North Alabama

:) The thing is.... I probably wouldn't do anything even if they were eating the plants.... It's lightning bugs after all & the kids love them!
Plus those plants are doing very well, was mostly curious because I don't think I have ever found a "daytime hangout" before... Kinda cool :D

User avatar
!potatoes!
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1882
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

there are a number of different species of lightning bug - and while most adults are nectar feeders, some are carnivores/almost cannibals. several taxon actually specialize in mimicking the flashes of other species, so that when the others come close, thinking they've got a mate, they get eaten. it's a wild world out there.

they won't bother your garden regardless.

GardenGnome
Greener Thumb
Posts: 755
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:26 pm
Location: paradise,ca

I wish I had some here to see glow in the night. Mail me a box of them lol
Gilson (Giles) Zone 7b

albucsfan
Cool Member
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:20 pm
Location: North Alabama

GardenGnome wrote:I wish I had some here to see glow in the night. Mail me a box of them lol
:lol: better half grew up in Vegas, was in his 30's before he saw fireflies in person... Was hilarious! He looked like a little kid chasing them!

lily51
Greener Thumb
Posts: 735
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:40 am
Location: Ohio, Zone 5

Albucsfan. Had same experience when a cousin visited here, and he was 50!
He was outside staring across the field wondering what all the little lights were! Reminded me to appreciate the magic show we get to see every summer.

GardenGnome
Greener Thumb
Posts: 755
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:26 pm
Location: paradise,ca

I read somewhere when frogs eat a lot of them they start to glow.
Gilson (Giles) Zone 7b

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I thought that sounded like some kind of urban myth, but I looked it up and found this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGQNSw-XWlg

(you have to watch it to the end) awesome!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”