family of beetles
(Redirected from Lightning bug)
Firefly redirects here; for the science-fiction television series, see: Firefly (TV series)

Fireflies are insects in the family Lampyridae in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged beetles, and commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous crepuscular use of bioluminescence to attract mates or prey.

Firefly that's what you are
Burning for me in my darkest hour… ~ Greta Gaines


Before, beside us, and above
The firefly lights his lamp of love. ~ Reginald Heber
  • Don't mistake vivacity for wit, thare iz about az much difference az thare iz between lightning and a lightning bug.
    • Josh Billings, Josh Billings' Old Farmer's Allminax, "January 1871". Also in Everybody's Friend, or; Josh Billing's Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor (1874), p. 304
    • Comparable to : The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
      • Mark Twain, in a letter of 15 October 1888, as quoted The Art of Authorship: Literary Reminiscences, Methods of Work, and Advice to Young Beginners (1890) by George Bainton
  • To a child's eye a lightning-bug outshines the brightest fixed star. There is no little childishness in every generation of grown-up people. The Lightning-bug never sees a second summer, the star shines on forever.
  • Before, beside us, and above
    The firefly lights his lamp of love.
    • Reginald Heber, in "An Evening Walk in Bengal" in The Kaleidoscope: or, Literary and Scientific Mirror, Vol. 8 (1827-1828), p. 277
  • Every Lightning-bug has his night, but he never has had his day.
    • George Augustus Lofton, Character Sketches: or, The blackboard Mirror (1890), "The Lightning-bug Convention"
  • Now, motionless and dark, eluded search
    Self-shrouded: and anon, starring the sky,
    Rose like a shower of fire.
    • Robert Southey, Madoc in Wales (1805), Part II (confounding the firefly with the lantern-fly)
  • Many a night I saw the Pleiads rising thro' the mellow shade,
    Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid.
  • The lightning bug is brilliant
       But he hasn't any mind
    He blunders through existence
       With his headlight on behind.
    • Anonymous, widely circulated in American periodicals from the 1890s and early 1900s. The earliest known citation, in Fiber and Fabric, Vol 27, no. 683 (2 April 1898), p. 84,[1] refers to an unidentified issue of Charles Austin Bates' Criticisms, which ran from 1897 to 1902.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 273.
  • Is it where the flow'r of the orange blows,
    And the fireflies dance thro' the myrtle boughs?
Wikipedia has an article about: