The fireflies are among the most enigmatic of insects, their cryptic colouring making them difficult to track down.
While most species have their own distinctive life cycle, they are known to reproduce in a wide variety of ways, ranging from a single clutch to multiple clutches.
Fireflies, like most insects, lay eggs and hatch into adults when they are about three to five millimetres long.
It is thought that the adult fireflies produce about 30,000 eggs per clutch, which they lay in pairs.
The eggs are eaten by larvae and are left behind for future generations.
However, some species of fireflies have been found to produce up to 10 million eggs in a single generation.
While they may look like little black dots, they have an incredible capacity for life.
It is estimated that fireflies can survive on just one million litres of water a year, which is equal to more than the annual output of two of the worlds largest oil refineries.
The species have also been found able to reproduce within days of the appearance of water.
So how many fireflies there are in the world is an unknown.
Some have been estimated to be thousands of millions, while others suggest it could be less than 100 million.
The Australian and New Zealand governments have proposed a $25 million (AUD$34 million) project to help track down the fireflies of the South Pacific.
The project will involve mapping the firefly population, tracking the movement of the species and searching for fireflies in other parts of the country.
What is the difference between fireflies and a fly?
In their natural state, fireflies lack the ability to sense temperature, light and sound.
Their eggs are laid in a densely-packed cloud of liquid droplets and the hatchlings live for less than a week.
However the larvae are found in a highly-organised, tightly-knit colony, and can live for up to three years.
Fireflies are very closely related to other insects that are also solitary and spend much of their lives in groups.
The larvae of firefly eggs can be used as food for other insects, and the larvae of other insects can also be eaten by the adults.
When fireflies hatch they are almost entirely white, with black markings and tiny black eyes.
They are the only animals in the animal kingdom that are entirely white and lack eyes.
The eggs of the fireflies have two layers of flesh, one for the outer layer, and one for a mucus-like covering, the inner layer.
The eggshell is covered in a dense layer of mucus, which keeps the larvae in a stable environment for many weeks.
While it is believed that the larvae live in a complex of underground colonies that are connected to each other, it is also thought that they are only connected to the outer colony through a series of small tunnels.
The hatchlings are then fed by their mothers through this system.
The parents then return to their underground colony to feed the newly-hatched larvae.
Is there a cure for firefly blindness?
There is some evidence that may be able to treat firefly blindness.
In the 1940s, scientists in Australia, Germany and the United States were able to artificially increase the levels of oxygen in the blood of fireflie larvae.
The effect was not permanent and the animals eventually developed symptoms of vision loss, although they eventually recovered.
A study published in the journal PLoS One last year reported that the level of oxygen injected into the blood from larvae increased in the presence of a drug that increases the activity of a gene in the larvae that is responsible for the vision loss.
How is firefly species classified?
Fireflies can be classified into four different sub-species.
The common firefly is found in the tropics, north and west of Australia.
Common firefly larvae are also found in South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
Rare fireflies such as the red-eared firefly are found throughout the Americas and Europe.
Firefly larvae can also lay their eggs in water, as opposed to land.
The colour of the eggs changes depending on whether they are found on the surface or submerged.
There are four sub-families of fire flies, which are classified as subfamily Phaeoparasidae.
Phaeoparcasidae is the family that includes the red, yellow, white and black fireflies.
Blue-eared and red-eyed fireflies belong to the subfamily Drosophila.
Red-eyed and white-eyed Fireflies belong the subfamilies Drosobranchidae, Drosoplaxidae and Drosospaxidae.