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Mysterious lantern firefly

Photuris mysticalampas
Mysterious lantern firefly in an Atlantic white cedar forest in Delaware. (Photo: Radim Schreiber,
U.S. State
Life History

Activity Period and Flash Signal

Adults are active mid-June to late July and give off single flashes of medium luminosity typically every 3 to 7 seconds.


This species is endemic to the Delmarva Peninsula, where it is currently recorded from Sussex County, DE, and Wicomico County, MD.

Habitat Associations

The mysterious lantern firefly is a habitat specialist associated with high-quality forested peatland floodplains, in areas where Atlantic white cedar is often codominant.

Conservation Status

The primary threats to this species are habitat loss and degradation due to sea level rise.

Conservation Needs
  • We need to know more about the distribution of this species. Please check out the Firefly Atlas to help us track and conserve this threatened species.
  • Turn off your outdoor lights at night so the lights of this firefly aren’t diminished by light pollution. You can read more about firefly-friendly lighting in our fact sheet.
  • Avoid pesticide use, which could harm this firefly, its habitat, or its prey.
  • Protection of forested buffers along floodplain corridors where this species is found is recommended.
  • More research on population size and trend, habitats and ecology, and threats is needed for this species.
Prepared By

Candace Fallon, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, based on the IUCN Red List assessment