When is the PA Firefly Festival?

Friday, June 25 and Saturday June 26 from 7 pm to Midnight. Subscribe to the PAFF Newsletter at Pafireflyevents.org to get early notification of the online registration links.

Friday, July 28, 2017

July is "Big Dipper" Time!

The festival is now been over for a month, but that doesn't mean there aren't fireflies to see.  The Synchronous season ended July 12, and officially made the 2017 season the longest in our  5-year history of data.  However, just as the last of the Synchronous shows ended and the Chinese Lanterns faded, new species began to emerge with just as impressive shows as our June species.

Currently, the lawns and farm fields all over northwest Pennsylvania are lighting up with displays by the "Big Dippers", the J-shaped light of Photinus pyralis.  You can almost set your watches to these displays.  They start around 9:00 pm with a peak around 9:15-20 and ending around 9:45.  They typically fly up from the grass and flash 12-18 inches off the ground at first, flying higher, up to 12-15 feet as they "warm-up".  Usually, children have no trouble catching these seasonal delights (just be sure to release them that night in the same area you caught them).  If you aren't seeing them in your neighborhood or fields, that's a sign that something is just not right.  You may want to take stock and evaluate your habitat more closely around your home for light pollution and/or pesticides.

SAYING GOODBYE:  We want to especially thank this year's PAFF Summer Intern, Peyton Breault, for all of her hard work and commitment to the fireflies of the Allegheny National Forest.  Peyton was able to help identify a lot of the flowers and plants associated with the Synchronous firefly displays and habitats.  We hope to use this information in the future to help us not only predict the display onset and peak, but to preserve and restore habitat.  We wish her well in her Senior Year at Florida Southern College and look forward to what she will become as a successful scientist.

Thank you to all who supported this year's festival with your volunteering, donations and expertise.  We will continue to learn as much as we can about fireflies in the Allegheny National Forest area, and are busy already making plans for next year.