May 30, 2009

Be My Entomologist

Keeping this short as I'm so tired I feel sick. (It's such a bear to get up that early to run, but then by the time I get home, I'm wired for sound.)

When we were in Miami camping, they had fireflies. Now... I'd not seen any fireflies down here. My kids were THRILLED.

Until we saw them up close and personal.

They were the ugliest fireflies I'd ever seen, I mean, turn my stomach, 'please don't frickin' land on me', ugly. They didn't have a butt light, but instead had two tiny lights on the head.

Gray body. It was... oh it was a real bug with headlights, as opposed to some whispy black lovebug type bug with a butt light.

I shudder thinking about it. It was a bad bug weekend.

Every time one got on me I nearly crawled out of my skin, only surpassed by the one time we were reviewing something with a Scout at night and a frickin' Palmetto bug, flew out of nowhere and landed on me.

An event like that scares me so much, that I am rendered screamless.

Ever have those dreams where something terrifying is happening and you can't scream for help?

Palmetto bugs landing on me do that. I open my mouth to scream, and in sheer terror, absolutely NOTHING comes out and when the event is over, I am left shaking, arms crossed over my chest tightly, and muttering over and over, 'no, no, no, no, that did not happen. no, no, no..."

I'm not kidding.

One of the Assistant Scout Masters likes to kid me about it now.


The question is, any of you bug experts out there, do you know what it was that we saw? I looked on the internet and could not find it, then again, I'm tired and functioning on one cylinder.

Gray bug, very... angular, longer, two little green lights on the head.

Creepy. Alien creepy. Blech.

Posted by Boudicca at May 30, 2009 09:37 PM

Supposedly, there is a type of click beetle that has bio-luminescent eye spots on it's head. Eric Carle wrote a children's book about the "Very Clumsy Click Beetle"

Also - here is a picture and description of the bug you saw:

There are some interesting species in this family, and we'll discuss just a few of them. One mentioned earlier is a species that produces light, and it fittingly is in the group of click beetles with the Latin name Pyrophorus. There are a few species of this group in the southern United States, and others south of that in Latin America. They are relatively large, with the adult beetle reaching about 1 inch in length in the U.S., and tropical species double that in size. They produce light in two yellow spots on the top of their thorax, and when they are flying through the air they look for all the world like a bright orange spark. Their light is not the famous blinking of fireflies, but more of a steady glow, and on a very dark night it is an impressive sight. Except for these two light spots the beetles are otherwise solid dark brown over their entire body. For more of a discussion on insects that produce light see another BugInfo article on "Fireflies and Lightning Beetles".

Posted by: suze at May 30, 2009 10:00 PM

Fire Flies with a butt light !


I love it.........kinda like Tinker Bell

Posted by: DammitWoman at May 30, 2009 10:37 PM

Thanks I can't go to bed for a few hours as I will surely dream about this post. Ugh, I get nauseous at the thought. You are talking my worse nightmare.

Posted by: Sissy at May 30, 2009 11:12 PM

I think they must be cross breeding with the love bugs.


Posted by: recondo32 at May 31, 2009 08:53 AM

Suze- I think we're getting closer. Their lights glow green, not orange, it's more angular and definitely gray in color as opposed to brown. It was like an alien bug. Blech. I'll continue looking in the path you've started as you're closer than I got.

DW- Heh! Tinkerbell from Hell!

Sissy- Oh it was a creepy trip. Overall it was good, but at night? At night the bugs had me on serious high alert. We have the biggest and nastiest damn bugs in the tropics.

Rick- Dude! HEY!!! Yeah, it would be a love bug mating with some nasty beetle and maybe an alien. Nasty nasty stuff... makes my skin crawl.

Posted by: Bou at May 31, 2009 11:19 AM

Suze- I found another site and yup, it's a type of click beetle like you found. They got huge... I saw one over 1.5" in length. Nasty, nasty, nasty...

Posted by: Bou at May 31, 2009 08:12 PM

"Palmetto bug" ewewewewewew

Posted by: Patti at May 31, 2009 09:01 PM