Lampyridae: It doesn't just roll off the tongue, does it? Yet lampyridae is the scientific term for these wonderful insects. "Firefly" is the term most often used in both scientific and serious literature about lampyridae. Over the years I have heard from many of you that in your area of the world some other term is used.
On this page I have listed common terms used to refer to fireflies that I have come across in my readings or learned from visitors to this site. Enjoy.
Big Dippers: This is the common name for Photinus pyralis fireflies, one of the more widespread fireflies in the United States.
Blinkies: This is a term used in Jamaica.
Blinkin' Bees: This is the name the son of one of my readers uses for fireflies. See dad's report on September 14, 2000.
Dark Fireflies: Not all adult fireflies light up. Dark (or Daytime) fireflies use pheremones to attract mates, instead of the flashing light used by lightning bugs. Seems almost a contradiction in terms, but there you have it.
DeGeers: This is sort of an inside joke among fireflyers. The firefly species Photuris pennsylvanica (DeGeer) is one of the more widely written about species in firefly lore. It is named for (and by) Charles DeGeer (1720 - 1778).
Fireflies: This is the most commonly used (non Latin) term in scientific and serious literature.
Glowflies: I found this term for fireflies in the one act play by Louis E. Catron called Where Have All the Lightning Bugs Gone?
Glowworms: This is the preferred term in England. Technically, the females of glowworm fireflies stay on the ground and use their lights to attract the males. The male glowworms do not have lights.
Hotaru: This is the Japanese word for firefly.
Lightning Bugs: This is probably the most popular term other than firefly itself. "Lightning bug" is used throughout the South.
Moon Bugs: I found this term for fireflies in the one act play by Louis E. Catron called Where Have All the Lightning Bugs Gone?
Peeney-Walley: This is a term used in Jamaica, although the term is also used as a common name for a luminescent click beetle.
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