Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs
Identification and Natural History of the Fireflies of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada

Lynn Frierson Faust

Get better acquainted with the performers of your own backyard “light show”


"This is a true gem of a book, a celebration of fireflies in all their diversity. With her unique combination of expert knowledge, boundless enthusiasm, superb photography and above all her love of these magical creatures, Lynn Faust leads us through every aspect of their lives and emphasizes the need to enjoy, study, cherish and protect them. She has created a supremely authoritative yet wonderfully accessible guide that is sure to inspire and inform the next generation of firefly-researchers. This book will draw you into the world of fireflies and make you want to go out into the night to discover and enjoy them for yourself."
—John Tyler, past Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, and author of The Glow-Worm

"Lynn Faust's Fireflies, Glow-worms and Lightning Bugs is overflowing with contagious enthusiasm for Lampyridae and other bioluminescent insects, but you won't want to spill a drop. It is a perfect brew of natural history, anecdote and careful taxonomy, sparkling with accessible-but-authoritative text and saturated with superb photography. Fireflies, Glow-worms and Lightning Bugs promises to be a natural history classic, and is a perfect guide to the "magical world of fireflies" in eastern and central North America."
—Stephen A. Marshall, author of Flies: The Natural History and Diversity of Diptera

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This is the first comprehensive firefly guide for eastern and central North America ever published. It is written for all those who want to know more about the amazing world of lightning bugs and learn the secrets hidden in the flash patterns of the 75+ species found in the eastern and central U.S. and Canada. As an independent researcher working with numerous university teams, naturalist Lynn Frierson Faust, “The Lightning Bug Lady,” has spent decades tracking the behavior and researching the habitats of these fascinating creatures.

Based on her twenty-five years of field work, this book is intended to increase understanding and appreciation of bioluminescent insects while igniting enthusiasm in a fun and informative way. Species accounts are coupled with historical background and literary epigraphs to engage and draw readers young and old into the world of these tiny sparklers. A chart documenting the flash patterns of the various species will aid in identification.

Clear photos illustrate the insects’ distinguishing physical characteristics, while habitats, seasonality, and common names are provided in clear, easy-to-understand yet scientifically accurate language. The guide will be welcomed by everyone who wants to learn more about fireflies' and glow-worms' unique traits and about their fragile niche in the ecosystem.

  • Over 600 color photographs
  • Detailed accounts and anatomical diagrams of 75+ species, as well as aids in distinguishing between similar species
  • A first-of-its-kind flash-pattern chart that folds out on heavy-weight paper
    • Extensive scientific details written in an understandable and engaging way
  • Colorful, common names—Twilight Bush Baby, Shadow Ghosts, and Snappy Syncs, and more—for easy species identification based on flash patterns
  • Tips on ideal sites and times of year 
for firefly watching
  • Conservation-oriented approach
A Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book

Page count: 376 pp.
637 color images, 10 diagrams, 1 table, 1 map
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $32.95

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Lynn Frierson Faust is an advisory consultant on firefly studies with state and national parks in Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and New York and an on-site scientific consultant with BBC Nature, the Discovery Channel, and National Geographic, among many other media outlets. She has also aided in identification and educational advisement for the Cincinnati Museum Center and published surveys of the fireflies of Mammoth Cave National Park, Congaree National Park, and the Allegheny National Forest. Faust has presented around the world on the topic of fireflies and published numerous scientific papers. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.