Firefly Resources


Want to learn more about fireflies? Check out the following resources for news articles, websites, and videos devoted to these fascinating creatures.

Fireflies in the News: Lights Out? Experts Fear Fireflies Are Dwindling.
Telegraph: Fireflies In Decline, Experts Say
New York Times: Talking to Fireflies Before Their Flash Disappears Experts Fear Firefly Populations Are Blinking Out
Earth Science News: Fireflies’ Glow Helps UT Southwestern Researchers Track Cancer Drug’s Effectiveness Biologists Expose Hidden Costs of Firefly Flashes

Academic Research & Other Websites On Fireflies:

Mike Quinn – Texas Entolomogy – The leading guide on Texas beetle species. By far the most detailed and organized website on Texas beetle species. Highly recommended website!

Studies on the flash communication system in Photinus fireflies: Published study on the geographical distribution and flashing patterns by the world’s leading expert on fireflies, Dr. James Lloyd. While an older study it still remains an excellent reference.

Female Preference for Male Courtship Flashes in Photinus ignitus Fireflies: Christopher K. Cratsley and Sara M Lewis, Behavioral Ecology (2003), Vol. 14 (1): 135-140.

Model of a Firefly Swarm – Wolfram Alpha: This very cool demonstration of swarm modeling math, it is possible to make a somewhat unrealistic model of firefly behavior with the following equations. Scientific research and articles on fireflies: their lives, their light, and scientific applications of firefly chemicals.
Firefly Watch: Firefly resource site run by the Boston Museum of Science.
The Firefly Files: Firefly information online sponsored by Ohio State University.
Tufts University: Scientific resource on fireflies, covering Nitric Oxide and the bioscience behind firefly flashes.
National Geographic: Information on fireflies in the Insects section of National Geographic’s educational website.
How to Photograph Fireflies: Informative how-to guide by Terry Priest on how to photograph fireflies (Photinus pyralis) in flight.

Videos on Fireflies:

The Science of Summer: Fireflies: Firefly educational video in a series sponsored by National Geographic.

A very interesting video of a firefly lampyrid beetle larva glowing at night in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. Note the brushes on the prolegs.

A good research video on recent experiments revealing the hidden costs of fireflies’ bioluminescent flash signals

A rather entertaining Peugeot car commercial with fireflies.

Close-up video of Firefly flashing.

Fireflies in the Movies & Music:

Fireflies appear in everything from song lyrics such as Owl City – Fireflies song, car commercials, or movies such as Avatar. People’s fasination with fireflies extends to all types of media both visual and auditory.

Owl City – Fireflies

Avatar – Fireflies & Bioluminescence in James’s Cameron movie Avatar