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Fireflies are found in a number of tropical and temperate climates all over the world. The majority of firefly species are found in tropical and subtropical regions, but they are well represented in temperate regions. Some species are found in very arid regions where the larvae and adults can be readily found following rains. The greatest species diversity is found in tropical Asia and Central and South America. Some Asian species are fully aquatic and live under water.


The adults are nocturnal but some species do come out during the day. They use several different plants for shelter including dandelions, poison ivy, and British soldiers. The larvae live underground, in rotting wood, or in leaf litter.


A study done in Japan showed that the best habitats for fireflies were in deciduous forests, agricultural fields and low urbanized areas. Urbanized areas have sewage systems which increase water flow and dry the ground surfaces making them less suitable for firefly habitat. Low slopes are ideal for fireflies because they usually have slower water velocities. Shallow water depths are also better for habitat. Lower water velocities benefit the survival of firefly larvae and are good spawning grounds because fireflies like to breed in still or slow moving water. The low water velocity and shallow depth support the organisms that the larvae feed on. Click here to learn more about this study on firefly habitat by So Kazama, Satoru Matsumoto, and others.

 Deciduous forests and meadows provide fallen leaves and dead wood which fireflies lay their eggs in. The fallen leaves are also a food source for  snails, which the larvae feed on.

On to Adaptation!

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