Study: Fireflies are facing extinction

Firefly (Photo: Terry Priest / CC BY-SA 2.0)

(CNN) — The pinpricks of bioluminescence that fill the summer’s night may soon be snuffed out forever, a new study contends.

And it will be mostly our fault.

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Scientists said fireflies are having a difficult time mating because our lights are always on. Combine that with the normal threats of loss of habitat and pesticide use, and it may contribute to future generations not having the joy of catching lightning bugs during the summer.

The study, published Monday in the journal Bioscience and conducted by a biology professor at Tufts University said one insect, Petroptyx tener, lives in mangroves and needs them to breed, but Malaysia swamps where mangroves once grew are being changed to palm oil plantations and aquaculture farms.

But the bigger threat is the artificial light at night — lights like streetlights, commercial signs and sky glow that is created by urban centers.

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