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Use an LED Light to Make a Firefly Lantern

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

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Want a natural nightlight? Try making a firefly lantern.

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Step 1: Make a mesh container from a piece of fiberglass window screen. Roll it into a tube with overlapping ends. Staple the tube together leaving a two-inch opening to slip fireflies through. Cap off each end with a plastic lid and duct tape.

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Step 2: To use a female decoy firefly to catch males, connect the leads from a green LED light to two six-foot lengths of insulated copper wire. Attach one of the wires to a 9-volt battery. To make your “female firefly” flash, touch the second wire to the battery. Keep the light six feet away from you. (Fireflies avoid humans.)

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Step 3: To crack the fireflies’ code, watch a female in the grass answer a flying male’s signal. Note how long she waits before flashing a response. With your LED light inside an open container, mimic the female’s pattern.

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Step 4: Put any males that arrive into your lantern. At least 40 fireflies per lantern should give you plenty of light. Release them, unharmed, the next day.


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1 Comment on Use an LED Light to Make a Firefly Lantern

  1. cool, but where I live you don’t need lights just wait till one flashes within 5 feet of you then walk over and scoop it with your hand. if you can’t find it it will probably flash again in a few seconds

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