Also known as fireflies, there are over 2,000 species of lightning bugs in the world. No matter what the species, lightning bugs prefer to live in or near water in warm temperatures. They become most active during hot, humid nights.
Lightning bug species can be found in every continent except Antarctica. They prefer woods, marshes, ponds or anywhere that has moist soil. Tropical regions in Asia and Central and South America have the greatest number of lightning bug species, according to Ohio State University. However, some species inhabit arid regions of the world. It is not entirely known how they raise their young so far from moist soil.
Female lightning bugs need soil that is easy enough to dig through. This usually only happens during summer months. The female then lays eggs in the soil and the larvae grow underground. Some firefly species in Asia live underwater, according to Ohio State, while some species' larvae are tree-dwellers.
Depending on the species of lightning bug, larvae can take up to two years to mature into adults. Larvae feed on any underground insects smaller than themselves. Adults feed on nectar or not at all and prefer to live near trees or vegetation.