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”


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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, entomologist 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 and aids in identification between similar-looking species
  • Colorful and clear flash pattern chart, the first of its kind
  • Colorful, common names—Twilight Bush Baby, Shadow Ghosts, and Snappy Syncs, and more—for easy species identification based on their flash patterns
  • Tips on ideal sites and times of year ‚Ä®for firefly watching
  • Conservation-oriented approach
A Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book


ISBN 978-0-8203-4872-8 Paperback
6 x 9  |  Approx. 400 pages
- Over 600 color photos
- 1 map and 10 diagrams
- 1 flash pattern chart
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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 Eulett Center at the Cincinnati Museum and published firefly 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.