Even as a kid I felt bad about trapping any sort of bug in a jar. Even with “grass to eat” they always seemed to be dead by morning.
We’d keep the lightning bugs (fireflies) overnight in a large mason jar in our bedroom (my brother and I), with holes in the lid and some sugar water and grass and twigs. It as soothing to watch them blink until you dozed off. The next day we released them all (they lived) and caught more the next evening.I bet we had 30 or 40 in a jar each night. Sometimes we wondered if the same bunch would hang around, hoping to be caught and fed sugar water all over again and not having predators to worry about.
Did anyone know that petrified wood smells like lightning bugs? It does.
Sugar water. See? Nobody ever told me about that. If I had known my entire childhood and my relationship with fireflies would be different today! :)
I don’t know if they ever drank/ate it, or if it was evaporation, but they did live until the next day except for the occasional (every two or three days) geezer whose time had come. We used the hummingbird food (basically sugar water) mamaw kept to feed her favorite feathered friends.
To this day I really don’t know WHAT lightning bugs eat. Not flesh, not food crops. I don’t know if they even do eat or if they simply flash until they mate, then die (or are eaten by a female-lightning-bug mimic).m I guess I’ll have to look it up on the internet.
Checked; except for the mimics who eat other closely-related species, apparently adult fireflies live off pollen and plant nectar, so hummingbird food or sugar water was right after all.
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