Lightning bugs are sometimes followed by the much slower thunder bugs. Indeed thunder bugs are so loud, they often scare away the faster lightning bugs.
If they follow lightning bugs, why haven’t you heard them before when you have seen lightning bugs? Well quite simply they are predators that eat lightning bugs and they are rather poor at it. Lightning bugs move faster, thunder bugs alert lightning bugs to their presence with their loud noise, and the noises tell lightning bugs where exactly to go that doesn’t have the noise.
As predators, thunder bugs suck. So they are not very numerous. Some stay alive by feasting on those unlucky bugs that get between thunder bugs and lightning bugs.
The young stay alive because they haven’t found their voices yet. So those are likely to catch the odd lightning bug.
Once they are old enough to find their voices, though, they are so proud of it that they never shut up when on the hunt.
Occasionally another predator bites into a lightning bug. But the taste of the blood to other predators is gross. Only thunder bugs like the taste. So the thunder bugs can also live off the rest of another creature’s kill.
So next time you see a lightning bug, just maybe you will hear the mighty crash of a thunder bug following much further behind.