About Firefly Watch

A Citizen Science Project

Firefly Watch combines an annual summer evening ritual with scientific research.

  • Join a network of volunteers.
  • Observe your own backyard.
  • Track your progress online and interact with fellow Citizen Scientists.
  • Help scientists map fireflies found in New England and beyond.
  • No specific scientific training required.

Participating in Firefly Watch requires just a fraction of your time.
Learn more about getting involved.

What We'll Learn

The Museum has teamed up with researchers from Tufts University and Fitchburg State College to track the fate of these amazing insects. With your help, we hope to learn about the geographic distribution of fireflies and their activity during the summer season. Fireflies also may be affected by human-made light and pesticides in lawns, so we hope to also learn more about those effects.
Learn more about the environmental factors affecting firefly habitats.

As the summer progresses, we'll update this site with what we're learning. We hope you'll check in often, ask your own questions, and join our growing online community.

Ready to join the watch? Sign up today!


Volunteer to share your observations of fireflies in your backyard — no special scientific training required.
:: Read More
Observing fireflies is a great summer activity. Join our network of volunteers and track your sightings throughout the season.
:: Sign Up
Pick a location, observe it weekly, and use our online tools to follow your progress.
:: Read More


You might see more than one type of firefly in your yard. New England fireflies fall into three main groups, and they can be identified by flash color, pattern, and location. Check out the Virtual Habitat to see what fireflies might look like in action.

- Go to the Habitat