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Experiments

Follow the Flickering Firefly

What You Need:

• Warm summer nights
• A backyard or park
• A parent or guardian
• A small flashlight


Tip: Don’t go out at night without a parent or guardian.


Question: How can you attract a firefly?

1) First, look for an area in your backyard or park where you see fireflies.

2) Then, lie on the ground. When you see a firefly flash its light, count for two seconds then flash your light toward the ground for one second.

3) Keep flashing in this same pattern and the firefly will fly right up to you!


A Scientific Explanation:

Fireflies flash to find a mate. A female firefly will usually stay put and flash once. A male firefly will fly around looking for the single flash of a female. There are thousands of different fireflies in the world each with a different flashing pattern, so keep trying if this pattern doesn’t work right away!


EXTRA! EXTRA!

Try experimenting with different flashing times. For instance, what happens if you flash your light four times instead of one time? Can you explain what happens?