Photo by Melody

Firefly, Lightning Bug (Photinus pyralis)

Order: Coleoptera (ko-lee-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Lampyridae
Genus: Photinus
Species: pyralis


2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Centre, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Deer, Arkansas
Malvern, Arkansas
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Ocala, Florida
Canton, Georgia
Griffin, Georgia
Molena, Georgia
Lyndon, Illinois
Troy, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Thibodaux, Louisiana
Skowhegan, Maine
Annapolis, Maryland
Crofton, Maryland
Cumberland, Maryland
Detroit, Michigan
Warren, Michigan
Lancaster, New Hampshire
Blooming Grove, New York
Weaverville, North Carolina
Akron, Ohio
Bowling Green, Ohio
Bucyrus, Ohio
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Kingsport, Tennessee
Norris, Tennessee

By Magpye
Thumbnail #1 of Firefly, Lightning Bug (Photinus pyralis) by Magpye

By Magpye

Thumbnail #2 of Firefly, Lightning Bug (Photinus pyralis) by Magpye

By Magpye

Thumbnail #3 of Firefly, Lightning Bug (Photinus pyralis) by Magpye

By Magpye

Thumbnail #4 of Firefly, Lightning Bug (Photinus pyralis) by Magpye

By sallyg

Thumbnail #5 of Firefly, Lightning Bug (Photinus pyralis) by sallyg

Member Notes:

Positive blossombloom On Dec 2, 2006, blossombloom from Griffin, GA wrote:

This bug brings back childhood memories. When I was a little girl, around dusk these fireflies would come out and I would catch them and put them in a jar. But know that I think back maybe this is why we don't see that many fireflies any more. Or maybe it's because so many woods are being destroyed.
I do not not know too much about them but they are pretty to watch at dusk.

Neutral palmbob On Dec 12, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA
(Zone 8b) wrote:

It's interesting that the east half of the country takes the existence of fireflies for granted- part of everyday (or everynight life... at least in the summers)... but growing up west of the Mississippi, in New Mexico, I never saw a firefly. They don't have them here in California, either. It wasn't until I visited my cousins on the east coast that I was exposed to these magical creatures.

There are several kinds of fireflies, though can't say I could begin to tell them apart... but their flashing off and on are signals to the opposite sex. Males flash in one sequence, while females flash in another. And some species of fireflies eat others and 'pretend' to be an attracting mate by flashing like one- pretty sneaky strategy!

From a veterinary point of view, these are dangerous bugs as they are highly toxic to both dogs and cats (to eat... they don't bite, that I am aware of).

Positive Ithiel On Aug 14, 2010, Ithiel from Detroit, MI
(Zone 6b) wrote:

It is not uncommon to see hundreds of these fireflies buzzing about near dusk in southeast Michigan. A staple of summer.

Neutral DavidofDeLand On Feb 7, 2013, DavidofDeLand from DeLand, FL
(Zone 9b) wrote:

Where have all the Fireflies gone in Central Florida I wonder. Many of us here have noticed their seeming decline over the years. Where they used to light the sky in thousands on over a century owned rural family property, ( a controlled area in which generations can witness and share the remembrances) they have been a compete No Show in the last decade at least...

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