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"Fireflies" is the 12th episode of Season 1 of the PBS Kids show Wild Kratts. It is the 12th episode of the series overall. It premiered on January 24, 2011.

In this episode, the Wild Kratts are all hyped about fireflies because they are having a firefly-themed picnic. However, the event turns into a "creature rescue" when fashion designer Donita Donata captures vast amounts of fireflies to use in a dress.


The episode begins with a live action segment. The Kratt brothers try to look for fireflies in the darkness. Afterwards, they ask their "What if?" question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.

As Koki and Jimmy finish setting up for the Wild Kratts Firefly Picnic, the Kratt brothers try out Aviva's newest invention: Buzz Bikes – firefly-themed transports that hover. After miniaturizing, they travel through the forest, finding fireflies. Martin quickly finds one and names it Blinker. They follow Blinker through the forest until Martin accidentally flings himself into a mud puddle. Chris falls in as well after a firefly flies near him. Meanwhile, Donita is at her mansion, wondering what she is going to wear. Donita calls Dabio and tells him to open the window because she needs some fresh air. He does so and a bug flies inside. Donita sees a bug flying around her, and calls Dabio again because she is afraid of bugs and orders him to close the window. Immediately she gets an idea to use a firefly as her dress and and then she tells Dabio to reopen the window. Afterwards, the two head back to the Tortuga to watch the fireflies' mating ritual, which consists of them synchronizing their flashes. Martin asks Blinker a joke in firefly in front of Aviva. "At the Bug Olympics, how does a firefly start the race?". Aviva asks "How?". Martin says "On your mark, get set, glow!" Everyone laughs and then they all release the fireflies, just when the jet of fashion designer Donita Donita sucks up vast amounts of fireflies.

The Wild Kratts immediately formulate a plan to save the fireflies – Koki tracks down Donita's jet, while the Kratt brothers figure out how firefly flash patterns work. Martin decides to start rescuing the fireflies, but Chris stops him and tells him that they need a plan. Martin back-answers Chris and says that there is no time for any plans and tells what Donita will do to the fireflies. Thankfully, Blinker is still with him. Chris points out that Blinker is the secret to the code and must crack it to communicate with the fireflies. Aviva orders Jimmy to pour the luciferase in the tube and pour it in the large beaker. In the process, Jimmy's hair turns green. With the help of Blinker's flashing, they find out the firefly flash-code is a simple blink and pause. Aviva finishes the Firefly Disc by dipping it into a beaker containing glowing, oxidized luciferin and luciferase. Martin grabs the disc after distracting Chris, and he activates Firefly Power, which creature-sizes him. Martin gets overexcited despite everyone telling him to be careful and he bumps into a door. Chris lifts him and opens the automatic door for Martin. Koki tells Chris that Donita just arrived back at her mansion. Aviva tells Chris that she needs thirty minutes to make the second disc because she has to reset the system and then output it, which gives Chris enough time to test the firefly pattern. Martin sees what looks like an injured firefly. He goes down to check, but the firefly grabs him. It is not the average firefly or a Photinus species, but a Photuris species, also known as a termite firefly. It makes the same flash patterns as the female Photinus species to lure males in and eat them, whereas the Photuris firefly starts to eat Martin. Aviva breaks up the fight and tells Martin to rescue thousands of fireflies and then blows him away.

Meanwhile, at the mansion, Donita has completed Phase 2, which is to put the butterflies in a large jar. Chris calls Martin and tells him to beware of Dabio because he's always wandering around. Martin arrives at Donita's mansion and loosens the knob, releasing the encased fireflies. He leads them outside and starts flashing to tell them to come out, but the fireflies do not respond to him. Martin calls Chris and the crew and tells them that the fireflies are not responding to him. Chris suddenly realizes that he and the rest of the crew have been working on the wrong flash pattern all along. The fireflies are not responding to Martin because they are all males and Chris and the crew need to find the female flash pattern. Chris then realizes that he missed that. Martin flies back in the mansion and uses a different flash pattern, but to no avail, the fireflies are still not responding to him. Then Donita's henchman, Dabio, enters the room and finds out that the fireflies have left the jar and closes the window to prevent the fireflies from leaving the mansion and Martin falls down. Minutes later, Donita comes back and criticizes Dabio after she finds out that the bugs have left the large jar, but she has a suspended animation controller to do trick. She then prepares to place the fireflies in suspended animation, but to no avail because Martin keeps turning the controller off every time she turns it on. Donita notices and orders Dabio to capture "the bug". Dabio tries to catch the bug, but he is unsuccessful because it keeps flying away and he then gets tired. Back at the Tortuga, Chris finds out that the female firefly blink pattern is a simple blink-blink-pause. They test it on Blinker using a flashlight. Blinker's eventual response is landing on the flashlight's lens, implying success. Back in the mansion, Martin (in bug powers) sits on Dabio's head and the latter tries again to net the bug, but the bug manages to escape and Dabio ends up netting himself. Although Martin manages to escape, he gets tranquilized with perfume. Donita grabs Martin and she finds out that Martin is a unique firefly out of all of the fireflies and therefore she makes Martin her crowning jewel. Martin appreciates what Donita said, but he yells at Donita and demands her to release the fireflies, so that they can go back to nature, flashing free and in the wild. Donita ignores him and says that although it's a little noisy but it's also extra flashy. Back in the Tortuga, Aviva finds the chemical formula of glow and finishes a second disc and then she tosses it to Chris, who activates his Creature Power Suit. Chris decides to stay human-sized, so that his glow is extremely bright and attracts lots of fireflies and then flies to Donita's mansion.

After tranquilizing Martin with perfume, Donita finishes her dress, which is firefly-themed and covered with fireflies, including Martin. Martin calls the crew and tells them that Donita put all the fireflies in suspended animation, including himself and built a dress out of them. Aviva asks how much time do they have. Martin answers that there is not much time, because she is about to leave her mansion. Chris tells Martin that he'll be there to rescue him and tells him to stay where he is. Aviva tells him to hurry up, because if Donita enters the limousine and drives off, they'll lose her and he'll never be able to keep up. Chris finds Donita's location within seconds. Just as Donita leaves, Chris arrives at Donita's mansion and Donita finds out that someone stole her one-of-a-kind fashion idea. She discovers that it was Chris, who stole it. She then orders Dabio to turn Chris off, but the latter is unsuccessful. Chris then uses the flash pattern embedded in his Suit to attract the males and to save Martin. The fireflies lift Donita up and escape, and she falls into the fountain in front of her mansion. Donita, who is now in her hoop skirt, is upset because her glorious gown is ruined. Dabio laughs at Donita and then says LOL. She tells him that he shouldn't say LOL or laugh because it's not funny because she can't go to the party with how her dress is. She continues lamenting on how her evening is ruined and admits defeat by saying bugs bug her. The fireflies follow the Kratt brothers back to the Tortuga. Jimmy walks out of the Tortuga tells Aviva that he washed his hair 84 times and is still unable to get the green color out. As the Wild Kratts kids and some members catch fireflies, Martin announces a catch-and-release of the fireflies. The Wild Kratts watch as the fireflies sync their flashes for their mating ritual. Martin asks the kids "Why do fireflies love thunderstorms?". Chris answers Martin, "Because they're lightning bugs." and everyone laughs.

The show transitions into the ending live action segment. The Kratt brothers and a couple of kids catch and later release fireflies. Afterwards, the Kratt brothers conclude the episode by saying "Keep on creature adventuring; we'll see you on the creature trail!"




Note: Featured animals are in bold.


Note: Mentioned animals are linked to Wikipedia.


  • Chris is shown to be left-handed. This is shown when he takes notes on firefly blinking patterns.
  • This is the first time Jimmy's hair has changed color. This happened while pouring the liquid from one beaker to another.
    • It is unknown how Jimmy's original hair color was restored throughout the rest of the series even though he was unable to get the green color out.

Key Facts and Creature Moments

  • Fireflies use their light for communication.
  • Fireflies synchronize their lights during the night.
Wild Kratts episodes
Seasons: 123456
Season 1

"Mom of a Croc" • "Whale of a Squid" • "Aardvark Town" • "Flight of the Draco" • "Mystery of the Squirmy Wormy" • "Platypus Cafe" • "Polar Bears Don't Dance" • "Build It Beaver" • "Voyage of the Butterflier XT" • "Honey Seekers" • "Bass Class" • "Fireflies" • "Mystery of the Weird Looking Walrus" • "Tazzy Chris" • "Octopus Wildkratticus" • "Walk on the Wetside" • "Elephant in the Room" • "Let the Rhinos Roll!" • "Kickin' It With the Roos" • "The Blue and the Gray" • "Falcon City" • "Koala Balloon" • "Cheetah Racer" • "Kerhonk" • "Mimic" • "Caracal-Minton" • "Zig-Zagged" • "A Huge Orange Problem" • "Seasquatch" • "The Food Chain Game" • "Masked Bandits" • "Flight of the Pollinators" • "The Gecko Effect" • "Little Howler" • "Quillber's Birthday Present" • "A Bat in the Brownies" • "Stuck on Sharks" • "Birds of a Feather" • "Googly Eye: The Night Guru" • "Raptor Round Up"