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Life Span of a Lightning Bug

By Amanda Williams

Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

There are more than 2,000 species of lightning bugs. Lightning bugs, also known as fireflies, belong to the insect family Lampyridae. Fireflies are not actually a type of fly; they are a species of beetle. These insects prefer temperate and tropical environments and are found in habitats such as meadows, gardens, parks and woodlands.

Growing Up Underground

When ready to deposit their eggs in late autumn, female lightning bugs do so in the ground. The eggs hatch into larvae after four weeks. The larvae stay underground over the winter, growing and feeding on worms and slugs. Some may spend an additional year underground. As spring arrives, the lightning bug larvae pupate in preparation for becoming adults. They do not feed during this stage; instead, they devote their energy to developing adult parts like wings.

Making an Appearance

The pupal stage lasts for 10 days. Adult lightning bugs emerge from their pupal cases in the summer and begin searching for a mate. Some adults feed on pollen or nectar during this time, while others do not eat at all. Firefly adults live for two months after emerging from their pupal case. The entire life cycle from egg to adult is approximately one or two years, from autumn to autumn.

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Author

Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.

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