[LMB] Milkweed and mutations

Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Sat Oct 12 18:39:53 BST 2019


Here in Iowa, we're west of the Mississippi, and fireflies are a common
sight in the summer during their mating season.  I don't know if you find
them much west of the Missouri, which is Iowa's western border.

On Sat, Oct 12, 2019 at 10:55 AM Joel Polowin <jpolowin at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Gretchen Wright <gretchen.m.wright at gmail.com> wrote:
> >On Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 1:18 AM Gwynne Powell wrote:
> >> Gwynne: I've never seen [a firefly]. I know what they are, I've read
> books
> >> that mention them, heard songs, etc - for a long time I didn't really
> believe
> >> they existed, but apparently they do. Most of the Aussie fauna doesn't
> light up.
>
> I hadn't seen any for decades, but a couple of years ago, when my
> sweetie and I went for a walk in a local green space at dusk, we saw
> quite a few.  And a couple of months ago, I saw a few at dusk in my
> own front yard.  This may partially reflect the terrible un-mown state
> around my house... but it was very pretty.
>
> I don't know if they've been here all along, and I just never happened
> to be in the right kind of place at the right time, or if the fireflies'
> range has shifted.
>
> > Gretchen:
> > ...Most.....?
>
> Well, there's the stuff that lights up to Lure You To Your Doom.  You
> may have heard of the Fly Angler, a terrestrial reptile that hunts its
> prey by putting out dozens of little feelers that flicker with light
> to mimic fireflies.  Mostly it catches small insectivores, but large
> Fly Anglers can be dangerous to small children whose intention is to
> trap a few fireflies in a jar, or who for whatever other reason try
> to grab at the tiny lights.  The barbs are very painful to extract,
> though the adhesive and the neurotoxin are both of considerable interest
> to researchers and may be of great value in the future.
>
> Joel
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