- 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.
Common Names for Fireflies
A firefly by any other name would still glow as brightly. But fireflies are a numerous and prolific species living all over the world, and they’re well-known in hundreds of different cultures. Because of this, they’re called by many common names. Here are just a few of the many names of fireflies.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Do you have a spoken or written word used for firefly or lightning bug in one of the many languages around the world? Please let us know! A large majority of the names listed below have been sent to us from visitors around the world.
Glow Worm - British word, sometimes used to refer to firefly larvae.
Hotaru - The Japanese word for firefly.
Blinkie - Jamaican term.
Minna-Minni - This is a Malayalam word for firefly. Malayalam (ma-la-yaa-lam) is the official language of the state of Kerala in India. Kerala is situated in the western peninsular tip of southern India.
Luciérnaga - The Spanish (spoken) word for firefly.
Cucubanos - Spanish (spoken) word used in Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and Cuba.
Ipurtargi - Basque language (Spoken in Spain & France)
Vaga-Lume - Portuguese word for firefly.
Kelip-Kelip - (congregating firefly) in the Malay language in Malaysia.
Kunang-Kunang - (mostly for solitary firefly) or api-api in the Malay language in Malaysia.
Minnaminungu - 'Malayalam' language spoken in the state of 'Kerala' in India.
Kalamadiriya - Sinhala language of Sri Lanka
Leuchtkäfer - German
Glühwurm - German (Term for the firefly larvae (similar to Glow Worm)
Glühwürmchen - German (Cuter term that mostly children would use.)
Luciole - French
светлячок - Russian
Glimworm: - Dutch
Lucciola: - Italian
螢火蟲 Chinese (traditional)
萤火虫 Chinese (simplified)
Hing Hoy - The vernacular name for fireflies in Thai language
גחלילית of Gakhlilit - Hebrew word for firefly
Vuurvliegie - Afrikaans (a cross between Dutch and English)
Tulikärpänen - Finnish
Alitaptap - Tagalog language (Also known as Filipino. Spoken in the Philippines.)
Got a unique name for fireflies, or know their name in another language? Tell us about it! Submit it here, and we’ll put it up on our site.
The Aztecs used the name for firefly metaphorically, meaning a spark of knowledge in a world of ignorance or darkness
The chinese thought that twinkling little beetles came from when you burned grass.
Fun Fact:American Indians
Native American Indians collected fireflies and smeared them as decorations on their faces and chest.
An old european legend warned that if a lightning bug flew in the window, someone was going to die.
Share Your Firefly Story
This is the place to tell us how you brought fireflies back in your yard. | More
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