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Fireflies and lightning bugs are the harbinger of summer and who doesn’t wait in anticipation until they see their first firefly of the season.  These species are not well studied or understood in New Jersey and we are working on developing a species list for the State and expanding research in this field.  Like so many of our other wildlife, fireflies are incredibly diverse with many having unique habitat and life history requirements. 

There are approximately 150 species of fireflies in North America with the three main groups of fireflies being Photinus, Pyractomena, and Photuris.  Approximately 30 of these species are known or thought to occur in NJ but they are challenging to identify and for some species the actual identification is still undetermined or unknown.  There are numerous other species that are likely to occur in NJ but have yet to be discovered or documented.  New discoveries await us. 

More Information

Firefly Conservation and Research

Guide to Fireflies

Status of Fireflies

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625
Created: May 28th, 2022