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Firefly Community Science Opportunities

Big dipper firefly in flight
Big dipper firefly (Photinus pyralis) (Photo: Terry Priest.)


Firefly Atlas: The Xerces Society, working in collaboration with the IUCN SSC Firefly Specialist Group and New Mexico BioPark Society, has launched a new initiative to better understand and conserve the diversity of fireflies in North America. Launched in 2022, the project aims to advance our collective understanding of firefly species’ distributions, phenologies, habitat associations, and threats, with an emphasis on threatened and data deficient species in the US. Participants can conduct surveys for species of conservation concern, submit their data via an online portal, and learn more about fireflies and their conservation needs.

Firefly Watch: Mass Audubon has teamed up with researchers from Tufts University to track firefly populations and determine if they are growing or shrinking, and what could lead to changes in their populations. Participants commit to spending at least 10 minutes once a week during firefly season observing fireflies in one location in North America. For those wanting to take a deeper dive, Firefly Watch Pro may be for you.

Western Firefly Project: The Natural History Museum of Utah is working with researchers at Brigham Young University to collect information on the firefly genus Pyractomena and investigate this group’s phylogenetic relationships and population genetics. Community scientists can contribute to this effort by submitting observations of flashing fireflies from Utah and other western states.

Lampyridae of the Southwest U.S.A. and Northern Mexico: Fireflies are a rare sight in the Southwest US and northern Mexico. Help researchers better understand the distribution limits of these elusive beetles.

Light up West Virgina: Learn about synchronous fireflies in the Mountain State of West Virginia and findings of the state-wide community science survey documenting lightningbugs.

Fireflyers International Network (FIN) on iNaturalist: FIN is an international group of firefly scientists, conservationists, and artists. Their iNaturalist project acts as an umbrella project for different firefly subprojects around the world, with members of the group working together to review and curate reports of fireflies and improve the accuracy of this important dataset.