Despite their name fireflies are not actually flies at all. They are winged beetles best known for their bright light emitted from special organs on their abdomen. It is a spectacular site when a group of fireflies swarm together at night. The larvae of the firefly also emit light and are often known as “glowworms.” If you have ever wondered what these interesting insects eat, keep reading to find out.
What do fireflies eat?
Fireflies begin their lifecycle when the female lays her fertilized eggs on the ground in an area rich in food. These eggs hatch into larvae a few weeks later and feed until the end of summer. Most species of firefly larvae are predatory and eat snails, slugs and other larvae. They hibernate underground over winter and emerge to feed for several more weeks before pupating to become adult fireflies.
The diet of the adult firefly is varied depending on the species. Many remain predators during adulthood, but some switch to feeding on planet pollen or nectar.
Did you know?
Fireflies are not commonly eaten by other predators because they taste bad. Some species are even poisonous. The light emissions in the larvae stage are used to serve as a warning to predators that they would not make a good snack! It was thought that the light emissions in adult fireflies served the same purpose, but it is now thought that these are used for selecting a mate.