An incredible sight was recently captured on video when a frog gulped down a firefly. But the unlucky bug kept flashing from inside of the frog’s belly. You can see in the video below that the frog was clinging to the side of a Florida home.
After swallowing the insect, the frog appeared unharmed, but apparently so was the firefly. Shockingly, many firefly species secrete a highly toxic chemical to most predators. The homeowner says she sees the frogs on her house regularly, but seeing one with a firefly inside was a first.
She says she was standing there when the frog ate the bug and was shocked to see it blinking inside of his belly. That’s when she ran to get her phone so she could record the incident.
When fireflies light up, they are signaling for prospective mates, but they are also warning predators because they are often toxic to eat. The defense steroid inside of them is called lucibufagins which are highly toxic to predators with backbones. Eating a firefly can result in heart failure.
Even humans aren’t immune to the poison. Mark Branham, a professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Florida says when he was studying fireflies he gently put one between his lips long enough to open the lid of a vial.
The firefly released its toxins and Branham was shocked out how fast his lips started tingling and went numb. Even his throat started to feel a bit constricted. The effect lasted about 30 minutes, recalls Branham.
He says it is likely that the firefly the frog swallowed is one of the species that doesn’t produce the toxin, or the frog may somehow be immune to it. He says its also possible that the effects of the toxin hadn’t begun to show in the frog yet.
Check out the video below and see for yourself how crazy the firefly inside of the frog’s belly looks and be sure to share it with your family and friends.