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Male Fireflies Get Lucky the Same Way You Do — They Bring Gifts


Looks like fireflies and human beings may have a lot in common — seems the females of both species are not only attracted to flashy bling, they like presents. Big presents.

Researchers from Tufts University in Boston who worked with fireflies (because why not?) found that while the male insects’ famous flashing lights did catch the eye of a lady fly, it was something else entirely that lured her in: spermatophore, a package containing sperm and nourishment for her. And the bigger the package, the more likely she was to find him attractive.

Sound familiar, guys?

Dr. Adam South said he was surprised to discover that “attractive flashes only seem to benefit males during the early stages of firefly courtship,” adding that “once males make physical contact, females switch to [a preference for spermatophore].”

The research team says it’s studying fireflies to fully understand the “remarkable displays and sometimes bizarre behavior that has evolved in the pursuit of sex.” In other words, watching a bunch of bugs is easier and less embarrassing than traipsing around after humans as they do shooters and stumble into drugstores at 2 a.m. looking for condoms.


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