Summer is in full swing here in West Michigan, you know how I know?

Because I'm treated to a light show in my back yard each night!

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Thankfully we didn't have to wait too long to see these little dancing lights, unlike years previous. There have been years where I didn't think we were going to see any of these bugs at all.

michigan firefly
lampyridae - Canva

So now that they're here-- what do we call them?

As far as I can remember, growing up here in West Michigan my family always called them "lightning bugs". However, after several moves across the Midwest to places like Nebraska and Missouri I find myself leaning more "firefly".

Just like the soda vs. pop debate I know it boils down to regional preference. I was curious to know, which term do Michiganders prefer, and why? It turns out there's actually a logical reason behind it!

Jason Keeler/Business Insider
Jason Keeler/Business Insider

Jason Keeler, a contributor for Business Insiderfound a correlation between regions that use the term "lightning bug" and regions of the country that see the most lightning-- the two essentially overlap!

Michigan happens to be located above the lightning-favored region, so that's probably why the southern portion of The Mitten prefers to use "lightning bug". However, judging by the map it's not uncommon to hear the term "firefly" around these parts.

lightning storm great lakes

Which term does your family use to refer to these glowing insect?

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