Monday, June 06, 2005

Night Life

The late spring nights should be all a-blink as “lightning bugs” in romantic flight flash for mates.

Fireflies are among the few kinds of insects that everyone loves. But they may be dwindling in numbers.

Theories abound. Development is certainly removing firefly habitats, and lights may drive them away. Pesticides and pollution may be killing them, and declining food supplies may be starving them -- larva of many species feed on invertebrates that pesticides kill.

Some people want to do for fireflies what lepidopteraphiles are doing for butterflies: Create habitats that attract and feed them. Since populating a yard with the right kinds of worms and snails is a lot tougher than planting flowers, they may have a challenge ahead of them. The best thing anyone can do, though, is maintain a natural yard that is pesticide free and that welcomes the diversity of nature.

Perhaps then, lightning bugs will shed more light on our Junes.

(For more on fireflies, visit the website of Attorney Donald Ray Burger of Houston, a lawyer who is waging a campaign to bring back the fireflies that have all but disappeared from his Texas city.)

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