How does a lightning bug light up?

winter firefly in macro shot photography

By Angela Pierce

Nothing says summer like the soft glow of the lightning bug on a summer night.

Lightning bugs, also known as fireflies, are not bugs or flies at all. They belong to an order of insects called beetles.

These small beetles can be seen lighting up the forests and fields of Missouri all summer long. What appears to be a magical occurrence is one of nature’s many acts of survival. 

Lightning bugs use a light-emitting process called bioluminescence to find a mate. 

winter firefly in macro shot photography
Photo by Skyler Ewing on

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