The beauty of 'lightening bugs'
Our good friend and naturalist Robert Carter sent us an invitation we couldn’t resist invitation – to see the lightning bugs, AKA fireflies, in a dark area of Winthrop University’s campus. Carter and Paula Mitchell, Winthrop entomologist, had just discovered this flashing group of what they believe are varied Photuris species on the edge of a swampy habitat. These male lighting bugs did not flash synchronously or at a restricted height off the ground. Instead, it was like Christmas tree lights randomly twinkling from a few feet to thirty feet up in the trees. They started about an hour after dark and Carter told us they continue the entire night. It was a magical experience. Once you discover the natural phenomena of our diverse state ecosystems, your world gets wider and wider without leaving home.