The fireflies that hunt other fireflies


Male fireflies of the species Photinus carolinis light up the night in search of mates. But someone is watching. And I don't mean humans or female P. carolinis.

Instead, writes Jason Bittel, the females of a different firefly species have their eye on the P. carolinis males. And this is not good news for the boys.

“These fireflies flash the wrong signal and pretend like they’re a female Photinus carolinis,” said Rebecca Nichols, an entomologist for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “The male will come down thinking he’s going to mate, and then the Photuris will grab him and eat him.”

Read on for more interesting firefly facts.

Image: Some rights reserved by Takashi Ota