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Loopy five firefly

Photuris forresti
An adult Photuris forresti. (Photo: Lynn Faust.)
U.S. State
South Carolina

Activity Period and Flash Signal

This species emits a series of erratic greenish-yellow pulses and prolonged flash trains in a five-spot looping pattern. 


This firefly has been documented at only three sites—in southern Tennessee, northwest South Carolina, and northern Georgia.

Habitat Associations

The loopy five firefly occurs in marsh habitats.

Conservation Status
  • IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable (tentative pending publication)
  • NatureServe status: Not assessed
  • U.S. Endangered Species Act status: None

Habitat loss is the main threat to this species, followed by light pollution. Habitat protection and increased survey efforts are critically needed to protect this firefly. One of the few sites from which it was known has been destroyed for the construction of a golf course.

Conservation Needs
  • We need to know more about the distribution of this species. Report sightings of any fireflies you see to iNaturalist, or consider participating in Firefly Watch. This species has a distinct five-spot looping flash pattern that should help with ID.
  • 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.
Prepared By

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