While fireflies are pretty ordinary looking creatures during daylight hours, these tiny insects transform in the dark to make a truly magnificent sight. Thanks to modern technological advances in both the inks and the processed used in the tattooing industry in recent years; a skilled tattooist could create a firefly tattoo to light up your skin. Contrary to the name, these particular insects are not actually related to the fly family at all but are really winged beetles which are also referred to in some countries as lightning bugs. The names originate from their propensity to use bioluminescence to attract both mates and prey and the chemically produced light this creates emits from their lower abdomen and can be yellow, green or a pinkish-red in color. From a scientific point of view this is known as a “cold light”, because it has not ultraviolet or infrared frequencies and most of these species can be found in temperate and tropical environments, predominantly in woodland or wet marshland areas.

There are various symbolic meanings that are associated with a firefly tattoo aside from the obvious one which are of course illumination and light. Many consider the message behind an unlit firefly to be more profound as this is reminding us that physical or external appearances can often be deceptive. Therefore, what we are inside is more important as it is this that is shining through to illuminate us on the outside. The mating ritual of the firefly is when its light shines at its brightest and while this is quite elaborate in itself there is a symbolism here that we can all learn from. Fireflies use their light to produce signals that are perfectly timed to precise detail to ensure they attract the ideal mate. The lesson here for us humans is simply, if we want to attract the right people, things and circumstances into our lives we must persist like the firefly with its perfect planning, laying the groundwork and putting in the relevant effort to achieve our ideals.

This is a very versatile design that works well in conjunction with other images such as toadstools, flowers and fairies perhaps set against a woodland backdrop. For example you could opt for the firefly floating above your favorite variety of flower surrounded by other illuminating images such as the moon and stars. Add a pink or golden glow, inked around it and you will have a very beautiful and insightful tattoo design that will be the envy of all your friends as not only will this look really cool but it will be unique and symbolic too.

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