Firefly Sex Interrupted by Artificial Light Pollution

This one lands a little bit in the realm of “wait, how much was the research grant they got for that?” And actually this very interesting Science News article we found didn’t really detail why we should be so concerned about female fireflies getting turned off by LED lighting (other than the obvious reasons), but we’ll assume there is a good reason. If  you know what it is, feel free to add it to the comments!

And it’s always interesting to ponder how human inventions impact the rest of the living world, so here’s a bit of what Science News had to say about firefly sex disruption:

The glow of LED lights might throw off the flirtations of fireflies, new tests suggest.

Females of the big dipper species (Photinus pyralis) don’t flash back at twinkling males quite as often as expected when forced to court under artificial light, says ecologist Ariel Firebaugh of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. And these less flashy females didn’t end up mating.

Check out the full Science News report here: Light pollution may disrupt firefly sex

Photo Credit: terry priest/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)