Lightning bug

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A lightning bug, x, is a type of monster that appears in SLASH'EM, SpliceHack, SlashTHEM, and Hack'EM. It is the strongest of the electric bugs, with a decently strong bite that inflicts shock damage and can destroy rings and wands.

In SLASH'EM and SlashTHEM, lightning bugs hit as a +1 weapon. In SpliceHack, lightning bugs are restricted to orthogonal movement like grid bugs.


Lightning bugs are always generated hostile, and appear in small groups. They are not randomly generated in Gehennom. A lightning bug does not leave a corpse upon death.

Arc bugs can grow up into lightning bugs.


As with other electric bugs, the rarity of early shock resistance sources makes it important that you protect any loose rings or wands in your inventory when encountering groups of lightning bugs. Remember that on top of item loss, wands that explode from shock in SLASH'EM and its variants have the same effect as breaking wands, making them far more likely to be detrimental or even lethal. Acquiring a sack or oilskin sack is generally higher priority as a result.

Lightning bugs should be dealt with quickly by early-game characters, as their bites can deal decent damage even without destroying items.

Encyclopedia entry

"What was that?" cried Buck, rubbing his numb and tingling arm.
"Nature's revenge for bug zappers," replied his companion.