Perhaps because we are so familiar with them, either from growing up chasing them or seeing them portrayed in art, film and books, we may think that we know all about these simple insects. Yet our flashy friends have a dark side that includes little-known tales of deception, poisoning and death. As summer approaches, here are 11 cool things about fireflies that you might not know.
Fireflies are beetles. Whether you call them fireflies or lightning bugs, these insects are neither flies nor true bugs. Instead they are beetles, just like ladybugs and rhinoceros beetles. Like other beetles, fireflies have a pair of hardened wing cases, called elytra, that the wings fold underneath. The elytra open for liftoff like gull-wing doors on a car, freeing the wings for flight.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.