An app to track firefly flashings

Contribute to citizen science by tracking lightning bugs in your backyard

9:22am, July 26, 2014

FLASHES OF LIGHT  Fireflies in a long-exposure photo taken in a forest near Nuremberg, Germany. A free app lets you map firefly flashes. 

A firefly flashing at dusk is an iconic sign of summer. Now you can enjoy these light shows and contribute to science at the same time with a firefly tracking app.

There are around 2,000 species of these luminescent beetles, which light up the twilight with yellow, greenish or amber light. Scientists at Clemson University in South Carolina are concerned that firefly populations might be in decline. To amass a database of firefly occurrence and habitats, the team designed Firefly Counter, an app that lets citizen scientists worldwide collect data on lightning bug populations.

Just download the free app, available for iPhone and Android, to your smartphone (if you don’t have one, an online version is available). 

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