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Pointy-lobed firefly

Photinus acuminatus
Firefly icon. (Natasha Sinegina, CC-BY-4.0 /
U.S. State
North Carolina
South Carolina
Life History

Activity Period and Flash Signal

This species has a generic flash pattern with males emitting emit bright, fast flashes every 2 seconds. Females respond with their own flashes. Unlike most firefly species, displaying males do not congregate together but instead scatter out across a large area. Because they often co-occur with other firefly species, this can make it difficult to distinguish them.


This species has a wide range but appears to have been extirpated from some areas. It has been reported from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina, although it may be more widespread but overlooked. Populations in Florida may be extinct.

Habitat Associations

The pointy-lobed firefly is a habitat specialist found in bog and marsh habitats.

Conservation Status
  • IUCN Red List status: Endangered
  • NatureServe status: G1—Critically Imperiled, SH—Possibly Extinct (Florida), SU—State Unrankable (Mississippi), SNR—State Not Ranked (North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina)
  • U.S. Endangered Species Act status: Not listed

Habitat loss and light pollution are the leading threats to this species.

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 firefly
  • 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.
  • If this firefly is found to be extant at historic sites, they should be protected.
  • 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