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Firefly Watch Update – Museum of Science

February 23, 2013

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Firefly Watch wishes you all a happy new year and a warm welcome to our sixth year of counting and learning about fireflies. In our first five years, 3,644 volunteers from 41 US states and 6 Canadian provinces have participated in the project. Thanks to all of you, Firefly Watch has been a greater success than we could have ever imagined. 

Now is the time to prepare for the upcoming year. Although for some of you this may seem too soon to think about counting fireflies, firefly season is fast approaching in some locales–the earliest sighting recorded by one of our volunteers was February 13 in Louisiana! Check out our updated Firefly Sightings chart to discover when the first sightings in your state have previously occurred. The chart includes first and last date seen, number of habitats reporting, and number of observations entered. This chart will give you some idea of when to start tracking fireflies in your area.

Don Salvatore
Museum of Science

Photo of winter firefly by Don Salvatore



Even though fireflies are generally found near moist environments, they are not considered aquatic insects. However, the larvae of some firefly species have adopted an aquatic or semi-aquatic lifestyle. These larvae live either in the water, breathing the air trapped between the leaves of water plants, or on aquatic or semi-aquatic plants, hunting for snails. 

Ethan Bright, at the University of Michigan, has compiled a list of the aquatic fireflies in the state of Michigan and would welcome hearing from anyone who has site records for the fireflies on his list. The list and contact information for Ethan can be seen on the Discussion Board.



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