Firefly Reports from Lousiana
Selected by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

To submit your own report email
Please include your city/town and state, and the date of your sighting. Include as many details as you can, such as numbers of fireflies, location (rural/city/wooded area, etc), temperature, time, and so on. Thanks for helping with this project.

Below are reports from Louisiana, listed in date order, alphabetically by city.

Baton Rouge:

June 5, 2005: A reader writes: Hello. Here is a firefly sighting report from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Location : close to a small river inside the city limits (adress is South Pollard Parkway, Baton Rouge 70808). It is well within the city limits, but in a wild place at the end of a relatively new neighbourhood. Tall deciduous trees (sweet gums, live oaks) and pretty dense bushes. Number of fireflights : several dozen at least could be seen flying among the bushes between the gound and 15 feet high. Weather: 3 days after Thunderstorms, nice day with fair sky and no wind, temperature around 85-90 F. Date and time : 6/4/2005 at 19:30 (i.e., still in day time). Note that although spring has been pretty dry this year, I have had plenty of slugs and snails, i.e., plenty of potential food for fireflies larvae.We are coming from France and this is a delight to see fireflights here. In France they are pretty rare and you usually only see the females on the ground, their light over there is weaker, greener and more continuous that the fireflies seen in Baton Rouge.
May 12, 2002: A reader writes: I just had the pleasure of viewing the information you have on your website. Growing up in south Louisiana, fireflies meant summer. As a child I remember catching them and placing them in a mayonaise jar to light up my room. This year we are very fortunate. Fireflies have once again populated this area. Currently, I stay just north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a very rural area with plenty of trees and waterways. For the last two nights I have watched the most magnificent "light" show for as long as I could stand the mosquitos. The performance the wonderful insects put on is better than any laser light show I've ever seen. I wasn't sure of what caused the light until I read it on your webpage. Thanks for the info. I hope the Houston area can re-populate and enjoy the show as I am.


June 12, 2005: A reader reports: Just a quick note. I bookmarked your firefly page several years ago because we only had a few on our 20 acres in Doyline, Louisiana, and I wanted to learn how to promote the habitat. We have more water available for them now, and last night when I got home from work (nurse) at 1 am, there was a lovely surprise! Not a huge light show, but at least 20-30 flashes a minute. HEAVEN! We are hoping this is a sign of future increases in the population around our home and area. Have you learned anymore about what they eat? Just thought you would find this encouraging. Someday I will take the time and tell you my "best-lightning-bug-night" story. It was life altering. Kindest regards.


April 23, 2006: Michelle B. Stein writes: I just came across your site looking up fireflies because my dog just found a firefly inside my house. It's only one but I was so excited about it. I haven't seen a firefly in a couple of years. I'm only 22 but when I was younger my family used to go camping and we'd catch them in jars, I didn't even realized it was so long ago. I don't think I would have realized it was a firefly if my dog wouldn't have been sniffing it. It was glowing while she was sniffing. But I just wanted to report my one firefly sighting in Garyville, Louisiana. It's a really small town in south Louisiana. But I just wanted to let you know because if there's one, there's more.


March 2, 2006: A reader writes: On March 2, 2006, I observed fireflies in Lacombe, Louisiana. I saw them from ~2035 to after 2200 hours. I observed maybe six flashes/ minutes, about 20 to 30 feet off ground with woods as background. Air temperature was 68. The high today was 78, last night low was 50. The area is Rural, light population. ~5 miles north from Lake Pontchtraine


June 27, 2005: C. M. Hill notes: In the little town of Montpelier,Louisiana, there is a place on the Tangipohoa River where the fireflies are so numerous until they fill the sand with their lights. As they rise at dusk, you can't tell them from the stars. They fill the air and trees and the sand.

May 10, 2003: A reader writes: I just came across your site this week, and was thrilled to see the interest in fireflies. I was seeking information on these charming little creatures, worried that I may have harmed the ones I have on my property by spraying with an herbicide. It is still early to tell , but as of tonight I don't think any real damage has been done
I will begin by telling you of the sightings we had late last spring. As we walked around our garden one evening in the latter part of May as I recall, looking around in the brushy areas I was astounded to see what appeared to be hundreds of fireflies. So many that at first glance I thought my husband had put out strings of chasing Christmas lights! After living and gardening on this site for 22 years and seeing only a few scattered fireflies, this was a truly amazing site to behold. We invited friends for several evenings to come and enjoy this phenomenal display. No one could recall ever seeing so many; of these little creatures in one place at any time in our lives. Most of us arein our mid 40s, and all have memories of catching fireflies in jars as children, now we are quite content to sit on the patio and watch the amazing light show they provide
We live in Natalbany, Lousiana. Along the East Ponchatoula Creek, just a few miles from Tickfaw, a site previously posted on your site. Our garden sits beside a small creek surrounded by pines and oaks with under brush. At the time of the sighting, we had a very wet spring, but had begun to need to water and I attributed the increase in fireflies to the use of sprinklers that had watered the area well, who knows. The display of the hundreds of fireflies only lasted for a few days and after that through out summer there were not as many to be seen, probably 20 or so noted in an average evening.  Some one posted a question about seeing them high in the trees, I have noted that they start out the evening from the underbrush or from the leaf cover of the ground, but as they fly around they will go higher into the trees
Back to this evening, it is May 09, 2003, and I have just returned inside after checking to see if the fireflies have emerged in full force. I have seen a few for a couple of weeks of so now, but have not had the chance to check them at dusk when they first emerge, until this evening. As expected the underbrush has started to come to light! I have counted approximately 200 synchronized flashes. Some are still a little further back into the brush than noted last year, but I will be checking to see if they come in and begin to emerge closer in as they did last year. At this time the display seems to be a little sparse compared to last years sightings. I will e-mail you again in a few days to give you an update. As I write this my husband called me into our living room, exclaiming "There's a lightening bug in here!" and sure enough, one had followed us inside and was sitting on a chair flashing quietly

New Orleans:

July 2, 2000: A doctor writes: I've always loved fireflies since I first remember seeing them when I was age 3, and I just decided to do a search on them for the first time. Your website came up 2nd on Google. It's nice to see an attorney who has a place in their heart for little wonders like fireflies (my last girlfriend was an attorney, and I don't think she had a place in her heart for anything or anyone, and that's why she's history). Hey, I'm not knocking attorneys. Besides being a photographer, I'm also an MD and am considering going to law school. But my real loves are photography, mushrooms (I'm an amateur mycologist), and fireflies. Anyway, I can remember seeing fireflies in New Orleans in the 50's and early 60's, but they seemed to disappear from there around 1965. I think this correlated with a lot of heavy mosquito spraying. I lived in New Orleans until 1982, when I moved to Dallas, and never saw fireflies in New Orleans between 1965 and 1982. When I was 3, I can remember capturing a jar of fireflies in May, and putting it next to my bed at night for its cheery green glow. I felt bad about "having put the fireflies in jail" later that night, and let them all go. Interestingly, they stayed outside my bedroom window for weeks to entertain me. I think there's a lesson here. When I was first studying for my medical board exams in 1994, I used to go to Turtle Creek in Highland Park in Dallas, Texas, for solitude and natural beauty. It must have worked well, because I scored over 99.5%ile on all my boards, and now teach other doctors for their boards as a sideline. To get to the point, I can remember very distinctly being in Turtle Creek the night of 6 May for the very first time, and being overwhelmed by the hundreds of fireflies over and around the creek. I felt a cosmic connection to these gentle creatures, and they brought me a lot of happiness and mental strength. I hadn't seen any in nearly 30 years. I've gone to Turtle Creek each May and June every year since then to watch the display. They are thickest from the 1st of May thru the 21st of May, when you'll see hundreds of them over and around Turtle Creek each night. Between then and mid-June, you'll still see dozens each night. I even saw 3 last night, on July 1. In May 2001, I'm going to start experimenting with open shutter technique on a tripoded camera and high speed film to see if I can capture their wonderful streaks. I wish I had thought of that before. I spoke to a friend in New Orleans and she tells me that fireflies are still rare to non-existent there now. Again, I think the mosquito spraying had a lot to do with it. And you're right--there are still plenty of mosquitos, so why bother? Thanks for taking the time and effort to become a hub of information. Don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help from Dallas.


September 5, 1998: Sharon Dukes writes: My husband and I live in Tickfaw, Louisiana. We saw quite a few fireflies in our yard from spring to early summer. We were very excited as neither of us had seen fireflies since we were small children. We have 11 acres and are planning our gardens with hummingbirds, butterflies and other wildlife in mind. Our goal is to become registered as a wildlife habitat.

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