Firefly Watch: Resources to Learn More

Fireflies © Fred Huang (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Fireflies © Fred Huang (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Fireflies © Fred Huang (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Want to learn more about all kinds of fireflies including past and present research into these fascinating insects? Check out a few of these resources.


Written by Sara Lewis, the Tufts Researcher participating in Firefly Watch, Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies is an exploration of fireflies and the research into their lives, including a field guide to North American species.

Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs: Identification and Natural History of the Fireflies of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada is a comprehensive firefly guide by Lynn Frierson Faust.


In 2014, Sara Lewis got on stage for a TED Talk, where she shared her story and tells how and why the beetles produce their silent sparks, what happens when two fireflies have sex, and why one group of females is known as the firefly vampire. Watch the video >

Photographer Radim Schreiber has been capturing fireflies on film since 2008. His video Firefly Experience transports you to a field at dusk to witness a summer night, without any digital alternation. Watch his videos >

Firefly Flash Charts

Many fireflies look similar, so knowing the flash patterns help to identify particular firefly species. With a little practice, you can learn to recognize many fireflies by their flash pattern. This graphic and this graphic can help. 

Activity Page for Kids

Download Mass Audubon's Young Explorers Fireflies page for a kid-friendly introduction to fireflies—complete with outdoor activities!

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