Fireflies Do Dead Bug Best

by Rachel Gertz


Fireflies keep hitting the lights up on the third floor of our parents’ domicile in Costa Rica. The heat stuns their glowing bodies and they fall ten feet to the floor. I can see them littered all over the steps twitching awkwardly until their little legs curl up in a permanent dead bug pose. Greenish yellow abdomens flicker and then stop. Dumb, beautiful bugs.

I feel terrible and have a tough time crushing them with my sandalias. My remorse is thick and soupy for days. Think I might have a slight problem with guilt.

But it’s one of those shitty things you just have to do. Or you have to let them flail upside down and watch their lights flicker out until they go dead. It’s up to you.

Firefly Facts

  • They’re some kind of mystical. Google firefly videos and they all have weird violins and bells and flutes playing in the background. Not kidding.
  • Fireflies are from the beetle family. There’s over 2000 different species floating around in the world and they’re now endangered—due to pollution and humans encroaching on their habitats
  • Firefly pupae are called glowworms. Their eggs even glow.
  • Fireflies are bio-luminescent. A fancy word for a natural chemical concoction that turns food energy into light. It’s such a great use of energy, none of it is wasted as heat. It’s called ‘cold light’.
  • They get all randy and light up their fannies to impress their mates. Sometimes only the males light up. Sometimes both.
  • Sometimes fireflies imitate mates of other species so they can eat their own kind. Other species just eat vegetation. Sometimes they don’t eat at all since they die immediately after laying their eggs. I can’t imagine forgoing a meal before sex. That’s just craziness.
  • It’s a stupid idea to squish fireflies between your fingers and smear the liquid onto your face. Karma’s an evil bitch. Remember that.


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