Firefly Sightings

  • Catching fireflies is an important part of summer.
  • Help us track where people are seeing fireflies in their backyard.
  • Submit your sightings on the map and connect with others who spotted fireflies in your area.

Submit Your sightings

Fun Fact:
There are estimated to be 2,000 firefly species. These insects live in a variety of warm environments, as well as in more temperate regions, and are a familiar sight on summer evenings.

Fun Fact:
Firefly light is usually intermittent, and flashes in patterns that are unique to each species. Each blinking pattern is an optical signal that helps fireflies find potential mates.

Glowing, Glowing, Gone.

Remember watching fireflies light up your yard on hot summer nights? Fireflies are beautiful, mysterious, and magical—and for many of us, catching and spotting them is an important part of summer. But firefly populations are dwindling all over the country—and all over the world.

Photinus Pyralis eastern US firefly

Why Are Fireflies Disappearing?

Nobody knows for sure. But most researchers blame two main factors: development and light pollution. Most species of fireflies thrive as larvae in rotting wood and forest litter at the margins of ponds and streams. And as they grow, they more or less stay where they were born. Read More

Catching fireflies

How Can I Help Fireflies Recover?

Fireflies are disappearing all over the world, and it's believed to be because of human encroachment on habitat, pesticides, and increased light pollution from development and traffic. But there are a few things you can do to help fireflies make a comeback in your area. Follow these steps, and with luck your yard will once again sparkle on summer nights. Read More

Read more Firefly Facts >>

Your Firefly Story

I thought Fireflies were hot by touch when I was twelve.

fireflyI saw my first firefly when I was 12 years old in Michigan. I thought they would would burn me when I touched them. It wasn't until I touched them did a learn what the glow was... More

Where Do Fireflies Live?

Fireflies love humid, warm environments.

Fireflies live in various habitats. Many species thrive in forests, fields or the margins between them. Some live in more arid areas, but they typically follow the rainy season. Fireflies are found all over the world, from North and South America to Europe and Asia. More

Send us your best firefly story!

About this Website

This site is a educational resource on fireflies, also known as lightning bugs. We've got information on why fireflies are disappearing and what you can do to help. We've also got answers to frequently asked questions about fireflies, from why they glow to what they eat.

In addition, you can share pictures and stories, connect with other firefly fans, and document your firefly sightings online.

Check out our online resources to learn more about fireflies—and how you can help them make a comeback.

You may know fireflies by another name, they are sometimes referred to as fireflys, lightning bugs, glow worms, or luciérnaga. Fireflies have many different names in foreign languages, here is a full list of common and uncommon names for fireflies in another language.

Firefly WatchHow to Catch Fireflies

Get prepared for this year! Fireflies start appearing as early as May in the US. Learn tips on how best to catch and release fireflies. | More

Firefly FactNumber of Species

In North America, there are an estimated 170+ species. Worldwide there is estimated 2000+ species. These numbers are going up as new Lampyridae species are described by scientists.

Firefly NewsNew Species Discovered

In the spring of 2015, a graduate student discovered a possible new species of Microphotus in Topanga, California. It was entirely dark in color with one orange colored light organ. Despite popular belief, fireflies do occur in California but in incredibly isolated areas. Scientists are studying the specimen now and it may be a few years until it's probably classified.

Firefly NewsSynchronous Fireflies

In summer 2012, a rare discovery of synchronous fireflies known as Photinus carolinus were discovered in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. Previously North America had only one known population located in Tennessee.

Fun Fact: Why Blink?

The purpose of blinking is so that male fireflies can find potential mates. If you watch long enough you will be able to pick up their blinking pattern.

Fun Fact:Efficient Light Makers

Light emitted by fireflies is unique. Nearly 100% of the energy is given off as light.

Fun Fact:Firefly Larvae

Did you know that firefly larvae glow? Yes! Scientists think this to warn of potential predators.

How to Help Fireflies

There are a few things you could do to help to restore fireflies in your backyard | More

Fun Fact:Multiple Colors

Fireflies can glow either: yellow, green, orange, and sometimes blue.

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