Ask an Opossum

By MDC | July 1, 2023
From Xplor: July/August 2023

Hi! I’m Phi, Xplor’s mail possum. I know a lot about nature. If you have a question, email me at

Q: Why do fireflies glow?

From Reese, age 12

A: A firefly’s twinkling tush is like a chemistry lab. Various ingredients mix together, causing a reaction that makes light. Unlike a light bulb, the glow gives off little heat. Which is good because the firefly doesn’t want its bottom to burn up! Fireflies use their blinky backsides to chat with each other in the dark. A male blinks: “Here I am. Do you like me?” A female blinks back if she spots a male she fancies.

This Issue's Staff

Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber