So Local Pasco Podcast, May 12th, 2016. Lampyridae and Bufo marinus Edition.

Wait, what?

That’s right.  Lampyridae.  Also, Bufo marinus.  Latin names for a species we want, and a species we don’t!

How many of us remember early summer evenings in our childhoods, chasing fireflies?  Catching lightning bugs, and putting them in jars?  How about glow WORMS?  Weird!  Cool!

Timelapse of male firefly blink patterns...And you can see a few females, perched atop grass blades at the bottom!
Timelapse of male firefly blink patterns…And you can see a few females, perched atop grass blades at the bottom!

Well, I had a conversation they other day that left me scratching my head…Why do we see less fireflies (they are neither ‘bugs’ NOR ‘flies’, they are actually beetles!) than we used to , when we were kids.  It turns out, there are a few reasons that we should think about, and address.  Not just for our well being, but the well being of other species.

Fireflies are vulnerable to pesticides, and even chemical fertilizers...As well as light pollution and lawns.
Fireflies are vulnerable to pesticides, and even chemical fertilizers…As well as light pollution and lawns.
Often called "Glow Worms", even in popular songs, again...NOT ACTUALLY WORMS.
Often called “Glow Worms”, even in popular songs, again…NOT ACTUALLY WORMS.

Listen to the podcast, and find out what you can do to encourage Lampyridae to inhabit YOUR yard or property…And since you suffered through all that, here is a link the Mills Brothers hit song Glow Worm, from 1952!


Part 2 of our outdoor lesson for today, is much yuckier, and actually dangerous to our pets!  Bufo, or Marine toads, and Cane toads.  I know some of you react with horror at the very mention of toads…But here’s the thing:

While it’s true that Bufo toads are a menace to our pets, indiscriminately killing all the toads you see is actually a terrible idea!  Listen, I get the revulsion, but our NATIVE toads are valuable members of a healthy ecosystem, and we certainly don’t want to kill them off, as well.  So, check out the pictures, below…You toad squeamish folks may want to stop reading, now:

There are distinct differences between toxic alien toads and our native toads! Learn to tell the difference. Also, Toxic Alien Toads is the name of my new band.
There are distinct differences between toxic alien toads and our native toads! Learn to tell the difference. Also, Toxic Alien Toads is the name of my new band.
Again, distinct differences! LEARN about your local environment! Do no harm to native species, if at all possible. We all love our dogs...Loving toads may be more challenging, but it is important.
Again, distinct differences! LEARN about your local environment! Do no harm to native species, if at all possible. We all love our dogs…Loving toads may be more challenging, but it is important.

From the sublime, to the yucky, and BACK to the sublime.

I want to make sure and shout out to Davie Eichenberger, who has been so generous in allowing me to use his song “Daylight Again” as our theme music.  It just fits the mood I aspire to so well.  Thanks, Dave!

Home team hero Dave Eichenberger, playing acoustic guitar. You can catch him live with Julie Black, as well.
Home team hero Dave Eichenberger, playing acoustic guitar. You can catch him live with Julie Black, as well.

Josh McCart joins me on Friday, along with The Mayor and The Princess, so please join me!

~Greg

 

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